TutorialsBlack and white photographyAn Excellent Guide for Black and White Photography Techniques

An Excellent Guide for Black and White Photography Techniques

Contrary to the initial impression, black and white photography is not just an old method but the style of professional and famous photographers. Contrary to its appearance, black and white photography is not easy and simple but more complicated than color photography.

In this article, we will discuss black and white photography techniques.

Black and white photography history

Black and white photography was first invented by a French developer named Joseph Nicephore Niepce. He could record the image by shining the light of a window on a screen covered with chemicals.

The first black and white photograph was taken in this way in 1825.

How to take black and white photos with DSLR cameras

Which camera is suitable for black and white photography?

Black and white cameras are costly and may not be suitable for everyone. You can efficiently work with standard cameras for color photography in black and white style. Some cameras have a special mode for black and white photography, but the color photo is often converted to black and white in the post-processing stage. ( To see more black and white photography photos, visit Amazing Black And White Photos Post. )

Black and white tips

Using filters as a tool in black and white photography techniques

Software such as Photoshop has filters for use in black and white photography. These filters have reconstructed a physical filter in software form. Filters are mostly colored.

Color filters can have particular effects on the B&W image. For example, a red filter darkens the sky. The blue filter, on the other hand, darkens the soil and leaves. And the green filter brightens the leaves of the trees.

Edited by using a blue Filter
Edited by using a blue Filter
red filter
red filter

Apart from color filters, there are filters like infrared, which are rarely used, but in rare cases, they can create a great photo.

Using the technique of shadows

Because we lost color tools in black and white photography, we have to use alternative techniques. One of these techniques is the use of shadows. Shadows can be subtle and regular. In this case, the feeling they will convey to the audience is precision and elegance.

Shadows can also be vast and convey a sense of grandeur.

Using large white areas

Broad bright areas are another black and white photography technique that gives the audience a sense of softness.

Contrast is a powerful tool  to influence the audience

Strong contrast in an image draws the audience’s attention; on the contrary, not using it makes the audience’s attention less attracted to a particular subject in the picture.

H3Using the Tone technique

If the dominant tone of the photo is dark colors, the audience’s emotions will be aroused and convey a feeling such as respect or fear. If the image’s tone is bright colors, the image represents gentleness, precision, and optimism.

light tone landscape
Light tone version

Shapes and lines are essential elements of black and white images

Shapes and lines are necessary in black and white photos because the user understands the content of the picture with their help. In color photos, this importance is less because the color element is enough to convey the photo’s meaning.

The problems in a street photo are signs and geometric lines of buildings; in nature, we can also name the branches of trees and stones.

Using texture

Textures fill the image with their repetitive shapes. They can be anything, metal and wood surfaces, bricks, water surfaces, or plant leaves.

Composition is something that should not be forgotten.

It is better to try to have the subject in the center of the photo. The other parts of the image should be related. Compliance with these rules is more important in black and white photography than in color version.

Different styles common in B&W

If you look at Instagram or black and white photo galleries, you will notice that some methods are more common among photographers.

One of these methods is low detail photos. For example, a man can be seen walking in the mountains between the snows in the distance. Or a boat can be seen near the pier from a distance (Minimalism ). Or there is only a view of several mountains and hills with different heights in the picture, and other details are not precise.

Such images usually have no definite element other than a few simple elements and look empty.

Other styles are crowded and detailed images, such as a city view or a room full of objects. In such photos, contrast and dark and light areas are usually seen more at the same time.

Black and white photography portraits

We should mention portraits as a suitable example for black and white images. Face lines and body language play a significant role in this style, and the effectiveness of this method is more than its color version.

Black and white photography ideas at home

At home, the most accessible subjects to photograph are inanimate objects, such as kitchen utensils or items on the desk. You can take good black and white photos even of flowers and plants.

Conclusion

Due to the elimination of the color parameter in B & W photography, it is necessary to use techniques such as the use of lines and shapes, and contrast to convey the content of the photo to the audience.
These factors make black and white photography and its techniques more challenging compared to the color version.

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Babak Siminzar
Babak Siminzarhttps://www.bsiminzar.com
I am a general practitioner and work in a health center. In previous years, my place of work was rural areas in the northwest of Iran. In addition to medicine in those areas, I also did photography, which was my hobby. I am very interested in macro photography, so most of my portfolio photos are about it. I also visit and photograph historical sites on my travels.

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