TutorialsBlack and white photographyBlack and White Street Photography Tips

Black and White Street Photography Tips

In my opinion, street photography is one of the most exciting photography styles. We can see the live flow of life on the street. People who come to the street to shop, work, buildings, and vehicles can all be suitable subjects for photography.

The noteworthy point is the intersection of black and white photography with street photography, which we call black and white street photography here. Black and white photography has removed the color noise from the photos and uses gray spectrums to describe human emotions and the physical form of objects. This street art style effectively records human emotions and the prevailing atmosphere of the street.

My goal in this article is to teach black and white street photography tips to help you find the right situations in this style of photography more easily.

The life of people in the street is a suitable subject for photography

People are doing different things on the street. Some people are busy going to work or looking at shops. A group found a corner and are busy with their mobile phones without paying attention to their surroundings.

The fact that they were staring at their mobile phones for a long time, and also how they were in this position, sitting or standing, can be an exciting subject for photography.

Sometimes people stand in the corner. The way they look, their mood, and their dress are expressions of their personality.

This picture has an exciting atmosphere; the type of urban texture and culture is different. Some people are busy eating, and some are passing by; some are young, and some are older, but all are busy with their work. The sum of these opposites in one place has produced a remarkable catch.

In the following picture, we see another type of street photography. In this picture, black and white photography has helped the photographer. The striking point in the image is the cyclist’s shadow, which is perpendicular to the street and sidewalk lines. The reason for the distinctiveness of the shade is the use of black and white. Be sure that the color version could not clearly express the contrast between the shadow and the rest of the photo. (You can visit Amazing Black And White Photos to see more pictures.)

Undoubtedly, another point that made this photo a good idea for street photography is the right angle of the photographer from above.

Taking pictures of conceptually opposite things in one image is one of the street photography tips. For example, in the photo below, we see a happy little girl dancing and playing. On the other hand, the alley is very crowded and cluttered and seems to be a poor neighborhood.

Seeing a happy person in a poor neighborhood attracts the audience’s attention, and the photographer’s victory attracts the audience’s attention.

Happy girl on the street
The happy girl is playing alone in the alley street.

Hunting unique scenes on the street

A street is a place of people’s traffic, and in this crowd, scenes sometimes appear that can be used to create memorable photos.

In this black and white photography image, the photographer managed to create an interesting perspective of the passers-by and buildings by changing his angle, which gave depth and soul to the picture. ( You can refer to Black and White Photography Techniques to read more about black and white photography. )

These people would look completely normal if this shot was taken from a standard height and not from below. But now, the two passers-by who are moving toward the camera and the passer-by who is moving transversely have made a great composition together with the condition of the buildings.

One of the most extraordinary ways is to find beautiful architecture and take a picture of its reflection in the water on the street floor.

Playing with light in street photography images is an exciting task. Please pay attention to this photo; its edge is dark, and a light in the center illuminates a part of the path. A passerby is right in the middle of the light, whose shadow falls on the street. This landscape and the pavement details together have created a black and white photography idea.

The parallel crowding of passengers in the subway and shooting from the exit all together created this scene.

Taking pictures from the side of a bench in a park or on the street is a street photography idea, but it has become too repetitive these days.

Take pictures of moving cars and trains

Slow down the shutter speed and use a tripod to photograph moving vehicles, trains, and trams. It is more enjoyable to do this method at night because the light points of the lamps will create light lines.

Light in the depth of field

One of the exciting methods for black and white photography art is taking a photo with light in the depth of the field, such that a black halo surrounds the light.

Many details in the light area and the dark halo attract the viewer’s attention.

Playing with shadows and shapes in black and white street photography

Like all black and white styles in this field, the basis of work is the correct use of shadows, lines, and shapes.

Due to the limited range of colors and exclusiveness to black, white, and gray, shadows and shapes are tools that help us describe the image that would not be possible without them.

The photo below shows the semi-dark environment where the shadows attract attention through many regular and parallel lines.

The bricks of the walls are recorded very sharply; the shapes attract the viewer’s attention.

On the one hand, the vast and very dark areas in the photo, and on the other hand, the details of the street pavement and tree branches have made this photo a powerful image.

The contrast between the bright light source in the image’s depth, i.e., the sun and the shadows of the buildings, and the woman standing alone on the street is very noticeable.

Recording moments of people’s lives on the street

Children with their inner happiness can always make our life happy. Photographing children’s games can be one of the happiest moments of human life.

A woman who hastily turns back and looks while the wind blows her hair can be a subject for photography. If the photographer reacts quickly and captures the physical movements of people rapidly, he can catch such examples.

A busy street and tall buildings full of shop signs with a child in the middle of the picture is an eye-catching sight.

A general view of the cityscape

A view of a water city on a foggy day!

Architecture Photography in the street

This photo has a good composition and perspective and was taken from a good angle.

Black clouds, a semi-dark atmosphere, tall buildings, and good composition have created a dramatic scene.

Photography on the Street can be an opportunity to photograph famous buildings.

Conclusion

Black and white street photography is one of the most well-known styles in which many famous photographers practice. With street photography, you will have the opportunity to record moments in people’s lives.

Black and white photography has features that can improve the results if used simultaneously with street photography. You just need to know the elements of this style and use them as I explained about shadows, shapes, and lines.

Good Luck!

Sources

https://www.getolympus.com/learn_center/black-and-white-street-photography

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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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