Look for Contrast, Shape and Texture. The complimentary and opposing colours that bring a colour image to life are all reduced to black and white or shades of grey in a monochrome image and you have to look for tonal contrast to make a shot stand out. In colour photography, for example, your eye would immediately be drawn to a red object on a green background, but in monochrome photography these two areas are likely to have the same brightness, so the image looks flat and monotonous straight from the camera. happily , it’s possible to work adjust the brightness of these two colours singly to introduce some contrast. However, a great starting point is to look for scenes with tonal contrast. There are always exceptions, but as a general rule look for scenes that contain some powerful blacks and whites. This should be achieved by the light or by the brightness (or tone) of the objects in the scene as well as the exposure settings that you use. The brightness of the bark of a silver birch tree for example, could inject some contrast (and interest) in to a woodland scene. Setting the exposure for these brighter areas also makes the shadows darker, so the highlights stand out even more. Look for shapes, patterns and textures in a scene and move around to find the unsurpassed composition.
Dodge and Burn. Dodging and burning is a track that comes from the traditional darkroom and is usually used to burn in or darken highlights and hold back (brighten) shadows. Photoshop’s Dodge and Burn tools allow a level of control that film photographers should only thought of taking a degree of because you could target the highlights, shadows or mid-tones with both. This means that you could use the Burn tool to darken highlights when they are too bright, or the Dodge tool to brighten them to increase local contrast. It’s a great habit of sharing a sense of superior sharpness and enhancing texture. Plus, because you may set the opacity of the tools, you could build up their effect gradually so the impact is crafty and there are no hard edges.
Try Long Exposure. Long exposure shots can work really well in monochrome photography, especially where there’s moving water or clouds. During the exposure the highlights of the water, for example, are recorded across a wider place than they would with a short exposure and this can help enhance tonal contrast. The blurring of the movement also adds textural contrast with any solid objects in the frame. If required , use a neutral density filter such as Lee Filters’ Big Stopper or Little Stopper to reduce exposure and extend shutter speed (by 10 and 4 stops respectively). typically , when exposures extend farther than regarding 1/60 sec a tripod is wanted to keep the camera still and avoid blurring. It’s also advisable to use a remote release and mirror lock-up to minimise vibration and produce super-sharp images.
Use Filters. Graduated neutral density (AKA ND grad) and polarizing filters are just as useful in monochrome photography as they are in colour. In fact, because they manipulate image contrast they are arguably more advantageous . An ND grad is supportive when you require to retain detail in a bright sky while a polarizing filter can be used to reduce reflections and boost contrast. Alternatively, hold taking two or more shots with different exposures to create a high dynamic range (HDR) composite. Don’t be afraid to use a ND grad with a standard neural density filter if the sky is brighter than the foreground in a long exposure shot. Coloured filters, which are an essential tool for monochrome film photographers, may also be useful for manipulating contrast in digital images. They work by darkening objects of their opposite colour while lightening objects of her own. An orange filter, for example, will darken the blue of the sky while a green one will lighten foliage.
Shoot RAW + JPEG. The unsurpassed monochrome conversions are met by editing raw files which have the full colour information, but if you shoot raw and JPEG files simultaneously and set the camera to its monochrome photograph Style/Picture Control/Film Simulation mode you get an indication of how the image will look in black and white. As many photographers struggle to visualise a scene in black and white, these monochrome modes are an invaluable tool that will help with composition and scene assessment. many cameras are also capable of producing decent in-camera monochrome images these days and it’s worth experimenting with image parameters (usually contrast, sharpness, filter effects and toning) to find a look that you like. Because compact course of action cameras and compact cameras show the scene seen by the sensor with camera settings applied, users of these cameras are able to preview the monochrome image in the electronic viewfinder or on rear screen before taking the shot. DSLR users can also do this if they activate their camera’s live theory manner , but the usually slower responses mean that most will find it preferable or check the image on the screen post-capture.
Take Control. Although coloured filters can still be used to manipulate contrast when shooting digital black and white images, it’s more prominent to save this work until the processing stage. Until a few years ago Photoshop’s Channel Mixer was the preferred means of turning colour images monochrome, but now Adobe Camera Raw has more strong tools (in the HSL/Grayscale tab) that allow you to adjust the brightness of eight individual colours that make up the image. It’s possible to adjust single of these colours to make it anything from white to black with the sliding control. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the whole image when adjusting a particular colour as subtle gradations may become unnatural looking. And adjusting the brightness of a red or pink shirt with the red sliding control, for moment , will have an impact on the model’s skin, especially the lips. The Levels and Curves controls should also be used to manipulate tonal range and contrast, but the HSL/Grayscale controls allow you to create delineation between objects of the same brightness but with unique colours.
Related Images of Black And White Portrait Robin Williams
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The second black and white portrait was also shot by the Frenchman Nicolas Guerin. Tarantino is one of my favourite directors because of the extravagant movies he makes. Django Unchained was a masterpiece!
Anyway, this post is about black and white photography only. So, let’s continue with the first portrait I’ve selected for you:
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The last photo in my first post from the sequence “Best Black and White Portraits” is not of an actor. This is Ernest Hemingway – One of the best American authors. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. I couldn’t find who was the photographer that made this amazing photo. If you can help me, I will be more than grateful!
The third portrait is also of a male actor. Unfortunately, two of the three men so far are not among us anymore. Heath Ledger was brilliant as The Joker from The Dark Knight movie. In 2009 he won posthumously an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing The Joker.
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Robin Williams was a great actor. I will always remember his role in Good Morning, Vietnam from 1987. Amazing movie! The French photographer Nicolas Guerin has shot this interesting photo where there is a fish in front of Williams. I don’t know what was the original idea, but I really like the result!
This quote by Ted Grant is the best explanation of the difference between colour and B&W photography. The most amazing portraits I’ve ever seen were all in black & white. There is one exception though. The portrait of an Afghan girl shot by the NG photographer Steve McCurry. This is probably the most famous portrait.
This is my favourite b&w photo of Morgan Freeman. He is my all time favourite actor, too. I don’t know who shot this amazing photo, so it will be great, if you help me find out!
“When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and White, you photograph their souls!” ― Ted Grant