My name’s Dan Biggins, and I’m a freelance web developer, a part-time wedding photographer and a keen black and white photographer.
We found 11 cosplay pics where the photographer chose more than fifty shades of gray, rather than in glorious technicolor. What’s your favorite shot? Let us know in the comments what you think of oldie-timey photography with ultra-modern costumes.
Photographing in RAW format will ultimately give you so much more control over your black and white photography, and allow you to experiment with various post-processing techniques in Lightroom and / or Photoshop, for example.
Photography is all about having fun in a creative way, so when you’re out and about keep warm, dry and most of all enjoy yourself.
Some filters are “warmer” than other, but this isn’t so important when shooting B&W (and the white balance can easily be adjusted after the fact if you’re shooting in RAW).
In Lightroom, even though you’ll be converting your image to black and white you can still fine tune the various tones in your photo. Simply adjust the colour sliders under the B&W panel to adjust your image.
B&W website: www.shadowsandlight.photography Weddings: www.danbiggins.com Twitter: danbphotography Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shadowsandlightphoto Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DanBiggins1971/
However, I always set my camera LCD to monochrome, to give me a good idea as to how the photograph will look once it’s been converted to black and white.
Back in the day (when the day was in the late 19th/early 20th centuries), color photography was the sole province of scientists. Later, color film made its way into the market, but it was considered too expensive for everyday use until the 1970s. Now using black and white over color is a considered a bold move.
All photos taken by Dan Biggins and used with kind permission. All views expressed in this blog post are those of the photographer alone.
In some cases, photographers are eschewing their color snaps in favor of old-school black and white. In other words, black and white… is the new black.
I originally used the B+W 10 stop BD filter until I dropped it on a stony beach (an expensive lesson in clumsiness). I now use a NiSi 10 stop filter, a much cheaper alternative.
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Clouds provide interest in a photograph compared to an empty blue sky. Also, long exposures produce soft, streaky clouds.
When shooting in RAW, all your photographs will be in colour but can be easily converted to black and white later via Lightroom, Photoshop or equivalent photo processing software.
To balance the sky and foreground, you can also use gradient filters. I use both soft and hard gradient filters depending on the subject I’m photographing. If you don’t have filters, you can always use the gradient filter tool in Lightroom (apologies to purists out there!)
Some people avoid venturing out with their camera when the sun is blazing, but sunny weather produces excellent contrast, lines and textures for black and white architectural photography.
Please click on the images in the photo gallery above to see them full-size, you won’t be disappointed.
I also use LightTrac, an Android app which shows the direction of the sun at different times of the day.
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After buying my first DSLR 8 years ago, this is one of the first photos I ever took and it’s one of my favourites even to this day. This is of course the magnificent Natural History Museum in London – the light in this building is sublime, highlighting the architecture beautifully.
Eastbourne Pier. Another post-Christmas visit, and once again a photograph taken from a completely deserted beach. The heavens opened ten minutes after I took this – remember folks, always check the weather forecast before setting off!Who’d have thought an escalator could be so sexy? This is Canary Wharf Station, in London, and it was taken on a Sunday morning, hence the lack of people!Canary View.
This is a residential block of flats on the Thames just west of Greenwich, and I particularly like the way the hard metallic sheen of the building contrasts against the soft movement of the clouds. This photo hopefully demonstrates that even the seemingly mundane can provide photographic inspiration.
Winchester Cathedral. I love cathedrals, and Winchester Cathedral is particularly impressive. It was an overcast day and the light outside was soft coming through the window against the stonework, and the people in the frame add extra interest.
Vauxhall, London. This was taken by Vauxhall Bridge on a residential stretch of the river, 5 minutes before the security guard locked the gates for the day. 15 minutes before this photo was taken the sky was clear, but luckily for me some clouds rolled into view just before I took this (and thankfully the security guard was patient with me too).
Derwent Water. Yes, it’s been photographed a thousand times before, but it’s such a beautiful location I simply couldn’t resist…Shoreham-on-Sea. Part of the reason I love photography (and particularly long exposure photography) is that it’s incredibly therapeutic.
This location in Shoreham takes around half an hour to reach on foot from the station, and is wonderfully secluded and quiet. I spent three hours there waiting for the clouds to roll in before capturing this, and felt thoroughly relaxed afterwards! Shoreham-on-Sea Revisited.
This was taken on a different day from the last photo, and was just after Christmas. It was cold, the weather was gloomy and there wasn’t a soul around – a perfect recipe for long exposure photography! I love the brooding stillness of this shot.
Crowley’s Wharf. I’d attempted to take this photo in Crowley’s Wharf in Greenwich, London, on a few occasions without any joy, but on this day the weather gods smiled on me. This is an old power station.
A more minimal effort, this is one of the wooden lighthouses in Dovercourt, Essex. I love how the long exposure has completely flattened the sea.
It is. Black and white doesn’t reproduce reality. It evokes mood. Take the harsh, almost uncomfortable look of Doctor Who’s Weeping Angel; the romanticized view of Wolverine; the retro flair of Columbia in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Every one of these shots benefited from the absence of color.
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Harsh light isn’t so good for portraits unfortunately, whether it’s colour or black and white.
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I bought my first camera eight years ago and have been hopelessly addicted to photography ever since.
Colour can sometimes be a distraction in a photograph, so eliminating it allows you to look for these strong compositional elements. Look for leading lines, shadows, curves, contrast etc.
For long exposure photography, a 10 stop filter is a must. These block out 10 stops of light, forcing the shutter open for much longer to achieve a desirable exposure and to flatter water and soften clouds (as in my Dovercourt Lighthouse photo).
As any photographer knows, with good lighting, white balance, and calibration, your camera should accurately reproduce every color of the cosplay rainbow. But not every costume needs to dazzle the retinas. In fact, some shots benefit from a stark palette.
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Always check the forecast if venturing out far and wide – as mentioned above, clouds are recommended for long exposures. Nothing worse than arriving at the coast after a three-hour journey to be greeted with a cloudless sky (I speak from bitter experience.)
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More relevant to long exposures, as the light is softer at these times of day, allowing you to capture dreamy, ethereal photographs and much longer exposures.
In my opinion, the finest black and white conversion software out there, and allows you far greater control over your image than Lightroom (and is available as a Lightroom / Photoshop plugin too).