Black And White Pictures Are Easier Than You Think

Creative Commons License photo credit: devinlynnx

Have you ever wondered why you would want to learn black and white photography tips in a world of color? In spite of the incredible popularity of digital color photography, there will always be room for black and white photography.

The elegance and timelessness of black and white photography insures its continual popularity. The fact is that more and more people are becoming interested in black and white photography for many reasons…

When used correctly, black and white photographs:

  • Heighten the emotional impact
  • Produce a clean, crisp look
  • Transforms a dingy or overcast look into a striking photo evoking emotion
  • Accentuate the depth of the photograph
  • Have a tendency to make photos look more like works of art

Emotional Scenes

Very powerful, emotional, or moving photographs often look better as black and white pictures than in color. For example, here is a candid taken at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. from 100 feet away.

Like most digital photographs, this one was first viewed as a color image. However, the emotional impact was not evident. By processing the same exact photo in black and white, the desired effect was achieved.

Keep in mind that when you have a highly emotional or poignant subject, try to also view it in black and white.

Relationship Portraits

Probably the most popular application for black and white photographs is with a single subject. Here is a photographic paradox: On the one hand, “Photography” per say, has very few absolute rules.

For example, there is not a specific “category” of pictures that looks better in black and white. However, black and white photographs of babies and children often look quite provoking.

Although there is a “formal/big occasion” aura surrounding black and white photography, there’s no reason to ignore it when taking everyday photos. If you are unsure, take the photo in color AND black and white; then you be the judge.

Everyday Magic!

As the commercial says – Never leave home without it. Why? Because you never know what or where photo opportunities will exist. (It’s that photographic Murphy’s Law thing.) In fact, sometimes you won’t even realize that a photograph is really good until after you download it and start to play with the photograph.

Here’s an example of how to transform and crop an average color photograph into a emotive black and white image.

By cropping most photos, you can more precisely determine where your viewer’s focus will go. That may not be as important when taking portraits of single subjects; however, it’s true power can be seen in group photographs and landscapes.

Once cropping becomes second nature to you, it might seem like the ultimate panacea. Unfortunately, there is one potential pitfall with cropping. Read about that pitfall here, as well as how to use a photographic technique that guarantees your cropped images will turn out perfectly.

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