As you cull your most recent wedding, you might be asking yourself, “When do I go black & white?” Throughout my career, I have displayed both color and black & white photos in my portfolio. I enjoy black & white images, because there’s simply something different to them.
Do you have an emotional connection to the landscape or subject in front of you? I've found that I'm most focused and successful when I'm passionate about the subject. For me, it's landscape; for you, it could be portraits, botanicals, abstracts, or long-exposure architecture.
Black & white should be used to remove distractions from your image and help bring more focus to your subject. A black & white portrait can help focus on your subject’s emotion, as well as eliminate color patterns that take attention away from them. The key is to use black & white to help communicate your vision more efficiently than a color image would do.
To re-create the classic Hollywood self-portrait, we will first analyze and reverse-engineer some portraits from that time and style. Next, we’ll choose what kind of lights and modifiers to use. Then, finally, we’ll position those lights and take the shot to see what results we get.
I find myself thinking in black & white. When creating a monochromatic portrait, I keep in consideration many specific elements such as composition, styling, editing, and lighting. Everything needs to be considered in such a way that it will work out in black & white.
For this series of hip-hop-inspired black-and-white portraits, I wanted a dramatic, moody, high contrast look. In the studio, nothing says drama like a black background. My concept was all about black on black—black skin, black wardrobe, on a black background. Lit properly, this monochromatic palette would isolate, elevate and highlight the subject in a punchy, dramatic way.
September 2018 Inspirations: Best Black & White Images Inspiration can come when you least expect it. As photographers, we are visual artists. We express ourselves through our camera and the images we create. Inspirations represents a sampling of our industry and the vision of professional photographers from around the world.…
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.
It never ceases to amaze me what’s possible with just one light, whether it’s a strobe or constant, plus a little know-how and creativity. A recent assignment I shot for one of Orlando’s top modeling agencies is a perfect example of the magic you can create with one light. I’d been asked to shoot promotional images of Kino, a newly signed model. The agency wanted dramatic edgy shots that highlighted his chiseled features and ripped physique. It was the perfect assignment for a couple of cool one-light setups.
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?