My favorite part of photography is capturing moments. As a second shooter for a primary photographer who knows how to pose and who pays very close attention to details, I can hide in the corner and capture candid moments as they unfold. Candid photos work so well in black and white, especially when laid out in a wedding album. Here are some of my tips to help you get the best candid images throughout a wedding day that look beautiful in black and white.
If changing an image to black and white is a careless afterthought, what are the chances that you’ve created a monochrome masterpiece? When we change our mindset from “I don’t know what else to do with this so black and white it is” to “I am going to create black-and-white photos today when I shoot,” a radical thing happens: Your monochrome images become more focused and striking.
When you think about creating a black-and-white photo, ask yourself, why black and white? Some clients simply want it for a particular marketing look or just for the love of black and white. Either way, you should know why you’re shooting in this style. In this article, I focus on a recent black-and-white project I did for a commercial client.
Authentic images are the ones our clients want to buy. So how do you learn to recognize authenticity in a photograph? Even more challenging, how do you then re-create authenticity in image after image for your many clients? It’s a hugely important question for your business. So let’s talk about six ways Eileen and I capture authentic moments.
Black-and-white conversion is an art, and the art is in determining how each color is rendered in black and white. Say you have an image of a beautiful landscape with a deep blue sky full of fluffy clouds. When we convert that to black and white, the blue sky loses its color. Now, I have a question for you: How will the blue areas look in black and white? Will they look light gray? Dark gray? White? Or maybe light gray with a slight gradient of dark gray? Making these decisions for how each color will be rendered is what makes black-and-white conversion fun.
Nothing beats window light. It’s broad, diffuse, indirect, soft light that’s flattering to anyone in its path. But what do you do when the sun has set, there is no window or Mother Nature isn’t cooperating? With the right tools and techniques, you can re-create it. I’ve seen this sun-drenched looks-like-daylight-but-isn’t look used often in Gap ads. The light created for these images has the open, airy quality you get from daylight streaming in through a large window. It’s perfect for Gap’s brand. I’ve always loved this quality of light and wanted to use it in my own work. How they did it was the big question mark.
Most great documentary photos are the result of preparation, time and relationships. Street photography isn’t about luck; it’s about forcing chance. It’s not enough to have a camera on you. You need to go out of your way, get up early for the sunrise and stay up late for the action. Sometimes you might stand in the rain for hours on some street corner because the reflections are nice and it’s a great backdrop, but you have to wait for the right kind of protagonist to appear and complete the scene.
Photographers often find themselves torn between the color version of their edit and a black-and-white conversion of the same shot (you even see photographers post both versions on social media, asking their followers which one they prefer). This is almost certainly indicative of a photographer making the unfortunate mistake of not having a complete vision for a shot up front. While you can convert an image to black and white arbitrarily and find success with it, I find far more consistent results when you set out to shoot monochrome from the start. But where do you start?
Whether you are shooting for grayscale or converting images due to horrible mixed lighting, you need a good workflow for black-and-white editing. Capture One Pro 10 has made it simple to do a large majority of your black-and-white editing without the need to edit in another software or plugin. This article show you how to use the presets, styles and tools of Capture One to make your black-and-white editing not only easier, but prettier.