week #12 – black & white

Week #12 – Taking a black & white (B&W) image may sound easy, since most cameras, phones and editing programs allow you to simply convert your image from color to B&W now-a-days. However, there are many aspects to consider when removing color to create an image that evokes emotion, uses light and shadows make your image pop and allows textures stand out that are normally overlooked.

B&W images can be very powerful, they are actually my favorite kind of images to hang on the wall since they are timeless. They convey so much emotion because when there’s no overpowering/vibrant color, all you focus on is the look on the person’s face or what is happening in the photo.

The other thing to take advantage of in a B&W image is the light and shadows. Use these to draw attention to your subject and add contrast, since contrast is the main way to convey dimension in a B&W image. For instance, below I used the light from window hitting Ann’s face to highlight her happy face. I also turned my exposure down to produce more shadows and give more contrast to Ann and my mom’s faces.

Last thing is to consider textures. If your image has a lot of textures, this makes for a good B&W image because it shows contrast as well. Textures can all so be better revealed by using side lighting vs. straight on lighting.

So challenge yourself this week to take a powerful B&W image that captures emotion.

Tips/tricks – Be sure to shoot your image in color, THEN change it to B&W in post processing. This is because your automatic B&W settings on your phone or camera will restrict you in post processing. I also like to see the image in color first before I convert it to B&W. Also, if you have the ability and the software, always shoot in RAW vs. JPEG. This gives you better results in editing as well. Last thing is use a lower ISO, since B&W images emphasize noise (or grain) in a photo. If you want more grain in your image (to add contrast), you can always add it in editing. It’s kind of like salt, it’s a lot easier to add more later, than take it away afterwards 😉

Good luck ladies! Send me your images by Sunday at 5PM!

Fall 20151

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