20 Amazing Black And White Photography Examples And Tips For How To Create Your Own

Posted on

3: Underexpose

Our next tip for stunning black and white images? Underexpose them.

Yes, underexposing, or exposing a black and white image for a shorter amount of time than you would a color image, helps to create photography that stands out with high contrasts. By underexposing, you increase the amount of darker values in an image, which, in turn, lends more emphasis to the white/lighter areas.

For example, when shooting a stormy beach with clouds rolling in but not yet covering the sky, shooting with a normal exposure would result in a blown-out sky when converted to black and white. By underexposing 2-3 f/stops, the sky becomes grey, and your scene remains highly contrasted with the white surf in the foreground.

But what if your shot is a little too dark? Old-school film photographers discovered they could create high contrast black and white images simply by underexposing their shots and overexposing their film. Modern digital tools allow you to do the same by selectively lightening areas in an image. As a general rule, underexposing is preferable to over-exposure because you can generally adjust an underexposed image with photo editing software more easily than an overexposed one. Underexposed images also hold much more detail (even if you can’t see it) that, with a little tweaking in Photoshop, you can bring out again.

As a general rule, underexposing is preferable to over-exposure because you can generally adjust an underexposed image with photo editing software more easily than an overexposed one. Underexposed images also hold much more detail (even if you can’t see it) that, with a little tweaking in Photoshop, you can bring out again.

4: Go For Shape And Form

We mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth another mention: look for interesting shapes and forms in your subjects. Like great painters, great photographers saw the effects in a scene, not just the objects.

These effects can create their own shapes, such as a square of light coming in through a window and falling on a person’s face. Or the shape of a bright figure on a dark background. There are millions of ways in which to capture shape and form!

The best way to effectively capture shape and form is to look at light. Where is the light coming from, and what is it doing? Are there ways in which you could enhance or change the effects of the light in your shot, such as with reflectors or lights of your own?

Pay attention to the areas of darkness as well. Subjects that feature simple lines or strong shapes work really well for this too.

PrevPage 2 of 10Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *