This fine arts blog is dedicated to an interesting and challenging field of artistic photography- Black and White photography. They enhance emotional substance of the subject make the photo look more artistic. It is considered to be the purest form of photography as the photographer has to rely on composition and form rather than the colors.
Black and White photography can be used on different scenes as it is not required to think about the colors that should look good together and match the amount of light available. This creates an entirely different mindset in terms of how you choose and approach your subject.
History of Black and White photography
Black and white photography has always been the first choice of most photographers. Even when color photography was first introduced, black and white photography was preferred over the color ones as they were of better quality and less expensive to develop. As the quality of color photographs improved, it gradually turned into the first choice for photographers thus declining the popularity of black and white photography.
Today the scenario has changed as we live in a ‘color’ full world where every image we see is vibrant! The quality of developed color photos has improved over the last many decades. With the advancement in the field of camera, the demand for color photograph has increased manifold. From amateur to a pro everyone is running behind color photographs.
All this has resulted in the loss of the art of black and white photography. Manufacturers offer better color film and processing at a low cost, on the other hand it is becoming hard to buy a black and white film!
However, at present, black and white photos are enjoying a revival. Photographers are rediscovering the power and timeless beauty that black and white film can lend to photos.
Tips to improve your Black & White photography
Choosing the right Subject
Not all subjects are appropriate for black and white photography. Some need to be shot in color or else their meaning is lost. The subjects for black-and-white photography might seem limited. It is always recommended to start with a raw subject, such as, rocks, metals, landscapes, still life and everyday scenes.
Use of light and shadows
Use natural light at different times of the day to change plain scenes into something special, or to add a particular mood to the image. A darker image snapped towards the evening time, will seem different if the same image is taken early that morning. Natural light is not to be underestimated when taking black and white photos. It affects everything from the mood of the image, to casting shadows, to texture enhancement.
Always use low ISO
ISO is the indication of the sensitivity of the image sensor. The higher the ISO number, higher is the sensitivity. For Black and white photography it is recommended to use films with ISO rating ranging from 50 to 400. When you use high ISO the noise will become more obvious. Noise in photography is like the “grain” in film, where the film doesn’t become as smooth as you’d wish. The higher your ISO is the more unpleasant dots will show in your photo. Films with higher ISO numbers need less light to form a useful image than films with lower ISO numbers.
Shoot in Color
Many digital cameras give you the options to shoot an image either in color or black and white. Never go for such an option to shoot your black and white photograph. The camera is really capturing color, then converting to black & white. It is recommendable to use computer software to convert a color photo into a black and white photo where you can have some control over it.