Sharing A Few Black & White Tips

As it’s been raining and I have used this time at the computer, playing around with images in Photoshop. Anyway, I have been wanting to improve my black and white images, so thought i would share what i know and have learned so far.

Click on the image for a larger view.
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SHOOT RAW
If you shoot RAW It will open up many new possibilities and give you more control of the image’s appearance and enable you to do a whole host of things which can improve the image and its look.

CONTRAST
With the help of light you can get great contrast. Contrast will bring the tonal differences in your photography as you can’t use color. With side lighting, for instance, you’ll get longer shadows. Contrast will also help make textures more pronounced. Contrast is important because when there is a distinct contrast, with dark shades and bright light, you’ll be able to see things you didn’t see before.

ISO
For black and white photography, try to use the lowest ISO you can. When you use high ISO the noise will become more obvious. The higher your ISO is, the more unpleasant dots will show in your photo. Therefore shady and dim days are actually great for black and white photographs.

SUBJECTS
Monochrome photographs are good at bringing an experience and story into a shoot, they tend to bring depth and give us the chance to explore an object or person more strictly due to the graphic elements that it conveys (especially thanks to a good contrast). Therefore it’s also well-matched for abstract photos.

POST PROCESSING
When using Photoshop or Lightroom for post processing, try tweaking the colours in the HSL panel, your black and whites will look a lot better with HSL adjustments. There are also numerous Photoshop and Lightroom plugins that will provide a good choice of monochromatic looks and most can be downloaded as trials so you can try them out.
Here are a few that are worth experimenting with, Nik Silver Effex, Topaz BW, Alien Skin Exposure 5,

And here is the colour version of the image. I think the B&W has more impact.

Click on the image for a larger view.
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Author: Fletcher K2Photographic

Fletcher is a Freelance photographer with images featured in Yachts and Yachting, Yorkshire Life Magazine and Equine Health Thoroughbred Owner and Breader. Commissioned work has included the Land Rover Burghley International Horse Trials; Bramham International Horse Trials; Hickstead Derby; The Motocross Nationals; Roger Albert Clark Rally; and the Pirelli Rally. Photography is his passion which is demonstrated through his work.

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