It’s now Day 3 in my 30 Day Photography Challenge, and today’s challenge is to tackle the black & white photos. This isn’t my first time that I’ve covered black and white, and you can read about it here, and here. I suggest that you should, but for the sake of this article, I’m going to give you a run down.
First things first: shoot in colour.
But this is black and white, what are you talking about Josh?
I know it’s black and white, but if you shoot in colour, you have more options when it comes to editing it later. It’s really simple, when you shoot in colour, you get three colour channels, red, green, and blue. When you convert the photo to monochrome, you can adjust each channel to change how the black and white looks.
Ok, so I’m glad that’s sorted; shoot in colour.
Here’s the photo in colour, after all the post processing that I did, with the exception of the enhance section (I’ll get to that). This is before the change to black and white.
Think in Black and White
When you shoot in black and white, it’s more important to consider form, shape, and contrast than anything else. When you remove the colour details, your attention is focused onto other elements of the photos, like removing one of your senses. The black and white also helps them to stand out.
The smoothness of the model’s skin, very nicely contrasts with the texture of the background, and the form of her body encourage you to explore her shape more.
Her body is broken up into sections, at the top you have her face, which is in the tree section of the background. This is the first contrast, with only very light shadows on her face.
Next you have her upper body, where her soft skin compliments the soft bokeh blur of the blue bells in the background, while still managing to contrast.
Finally, you have her dress at the bottom of the frame. Looking at it now, it probably wasn’t the best choice, because it can seem to look a little bit lost in the frame, but this again enhances the contrast in the photo.
ISO is not so Important
The worst part about digital noise, in my opinion, is the colour of the grain. It usually comes through as some dodgy brown and blue haze on the photo, and I really hate that. But when you’re shooting in black and white, it’s really not so important anymore, because you’re not going to see it like that.
Boost that ISO until your heart’s content.
I’ve done more post processing to this photo than I would with most, and that’s because I can get away with it much easier. I’ve changed the exposure, black point, contrast, saturation, vibrancy, highlights, and added a vignette. I wouldn’t normally do this much with colour photography, but here’s the result.
When you change it to black and white though, you can barely tell what I’ve done to it, although you can probably tell that there has been some changes made to the photo.
Here’s the final image.
If you would like to keep track of the 30 Day Photography Challenge, come on over to my Facebook page, Twitter and/or Pinterest, and share your photos with me and the rest of the community. The best ones will be included in these posts. Alternatively, you can leave a comment below. (Note: if you’re linking from Facebook, be sure to ‘copy image address’).
Noel M. Ilustrisimo
Robert J Photography
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