Learning Black and White Photography, no complications!
You can Make High Impact Black and White Photography, the simple way
Have you ever thought about really learning black and white photography and how it could be so powerful and communicate so much, with so little? it’s not just changing a setting on your camera, or saturating your image in Photoshop. No Way – not even close. Black and white photography is a POWERFUL way, maybe THE most powerful way to communicate your story.
I’ve often thought about why this is true – I think it’s partly because the first photographers didn’t have the option of colour film, so they had to make sure that whatever they were photographing had creative impact for OTHER reasons. Such as shadow, pattern, light and angles. They set the standard for well composed, graphic and dramatic black and white photos.
Because color wasn’t really a consideration in these early photographic images, they had to make sure that all the other elements were strong, like the design, the shadows and light, the artistic interpretation, and the perspective. They knew that really learning black and white photography could elevate their photography to completely new levels. Think Ansel Adams…
So, because many of the early photographic artists developed a keen eye for these details, we expect the same kind of impact, maybe more, in the black and white nature photography of today.
Have you ever wanted to take photographs like that – that really make an impression? It’s not difficult or complex – with these straightforward black and white photography tips, you’ll be learning black and white photography that will demand attention and even a little envy!
Learning black and white photography is not difficult, if you have all the information and tools in once place. And that place is HERE!
“OK, all that history stuff that makes sense,” you say, “but why learn black and white photography when the wilderness is full of amazing and wild colors?” “The stunning sunsets, the rainbow hues of a prairie meadow all cry out to be captured in color, don’t they?” Sometimes.
So just how can removing some of the most powerful aspects of a nature photograph make it better?
Well, in many cases, making a black and white photo will be the ONLY choice to really tell your story in a dramatic way. And learning black and white photography is sometimes the most effective way to isolate and draw attention to your subject. Remember that sometimes color can be distracting too.
Think about the awe you feel when you look at an Ansel Adams photograph. You can almost FEEL the crisp winter mountain air. If you look closely enough, you might just see your breath too, (as the image takes it away!)
Simplicity = Power
It’s that kind of power you can achieve by learning black and white photography, and begin to take better nature photographs. You just need to know the secrets! Check out Imogen Cunningham’s amazing work to see how dramatic simplicity can be!
By removing color as one of our composition elements, we are left with fewer details to consider, and so our attention can focus on the other aspects of the shot. Scenes that work especially well in black and white photography are those that have strong patterns, textures, angles, tones, shadows and light perspectives.
What we are left with really, is the graphic design of the scene. You can make absolutely dramatic images with just black and white, and a range of grays.
Knowing how to see past the color is a CRITICAL skill. See the links below to learn all the techniques to see like film sees and to capture those heart stopping scenes and share then with pride.
Imogen Cunningham: possibly the world’s greatest nature photographer
Learning Black and White Photography for Landscapes
Black and White Photography Shadows and Light
My Favourite Books for learning Black and White Photography, creative inspiration and “how-to” guides
Taking ethereal photos: black and white digital infrared photography
Must-have filters for ultra-high impact black and white nature photography (coming soon)
Making Abstract Black and White Photography (coming soon)
How to create Black and White Fine Art Photography (coming soon)