I’ve done more post processing to this photo than I would with most, and that’s because I can get away with it much easier. I’ve changed the exposure, black point, contrast, saturation, vibrancy, highlights, and added a vignette. I wouldn’t normally do this much with colour photography, but here’s the result.
When you shoot in black and white, it’s more important to consider form, shape, and contrast than anything else. When you remove the colour details, your attention is focused onto other elements of the photos, like removing one of your senses. The black and white also helps them to stand out.
Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by Natalie Matthews-Ramo and Thinkstock.
Seven Days, Seven Photos of Pensive Cats The pretentious “challenge” taking over Facebook is neither a challenge nor a good meme.
One frequently heard complaint about Facebook, at least among those of us who signed up in college before anyone else could, is that it’s overrun with photos of people’s kids. (Sorry, parents!) But even a few days of #7days7photos—so many black-and-white fences and faux-pensive shots of cats!—is enough to make anyone nostalgic for the endless streams of baby photos.
I’m going to ask the obvious question here: Since when does posting photos to Facebook constitute a challenge? That is one of the main points of Facebook! Many people can’t leave the house without posting a photo on Facebook. So to frame this as a challenge is just asking for trouble. The prompt to eschew color, people, and explanatory text has given participants free rein to post cringe-worthy “arty” pictures they’d normally have the good sense to be embarrassed by: their shadow-dipped lattes, their brooding pets, their kids’ tilted-over toys, often framed diagonally to add that extra “I’m doing serious photography” edge. The leaves! The cars! The fences! I saw one photo of a faucet, for some reason. Is this Facebook, or are these the photos that come prepackaged with frames at Ikea? I’ll give partial credit to the people who gave up entirely at creativity and and just took pictures of their cameras or laptops. If anything, this meme should help us appreciate how hard still-life photographers have it and how helpful color and human facial expressions are to the taking of good photos.
The smoothness of the model’s skin, very nicely contrasts with the texture of the background, and the form of her body encourage you to explore her shape more.
Following in the illustrious footsteps of these past viral crazes, the challenge that has emerged from 2017’s rubble looks positively wimpy in comparison. It’s the “7 Days, 7 Photos” challenge, and my God is it an insult to the very concept of internet challenges. If you’ve been wondering why people have been clogging your Facebook feed with black-and-white photos, this is why: They’re participating in this so-called challenge to post a photo a day for seven days, but the photos must be black and white and contain no people or explanations. (Of course the “no explanations” rule is broken the second people post that they’re doing this, but I suppose that’s the least of anyone’s concerns.)
In my day, the word challenge implied that something was actually, well, challenging. Remember 2014’s Ice Bucket Challenge? Hackneyed and pointless or not, it was at least a genuine ordeal. Or what about the Kylie Lip Challenge? Against medical advice, kids defied one another to get their lips to swell using shot glasses as vacuums. Now that was a challenge. Even the Mannequin Challenge required some effort: You try freezing in place and making a decent video of it.
A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography’s Photographer-In-Chief: Thank you for reading… CLICK HERE if you want to capture breathtaking images, without the frustration of a complicated camera. It’s my training video that will walk you how to use your camera’s functions in just 10 minutes – for free! I also offer video courses and ebooks covering the following subjects: Beginner – Intermediate Photography eBook Beginner – Intermediate Photography Video Course Landscape Photography eBook Landscape Photography Video Course Photography Blogging (Service) You could be just a few days away from finally understanding how to use your camera to take great photos! Thanks again for reading our articles!
I know it’s black and white, but if you shoot in colour, you have more options when it comes to editing it later. It’s really simple, when you shoot in colour, you get three colour channels, red, green, and blue. When you convert the photo to monochrome, you can adjust each channel to change how the black and white looks.
When you change it to black and white though, you can barely tell what I’ve done to it, although you can probably tell that there has been some changes made to the photo.
Finally, you have her dress at the bottom of the frame. Looking at it now, it probably wasn’t the best choice, because it can seem to look a little bit lost in the frame, but this again enhances the contrast in the photo.
Next you have her upper body, where her soft skin compliments the soft bokeh blur of the blue bells in the background, while still managing to contrast.
The worst part about digital noise, in my opinion, is the colour of the grain. It usually comes through as some dodgy brown and blue haze on the photo, and I really hate that. But when you’re shooting in black and white, it’s really not so important anymore, because you’re not going to see it like that.
Here’s the photo in colour, after all the post processing that I did, with the exception of the enhance section (I’ll get to that). This is before the change to black and white.
Her body is broken up into sections, at the top you have her face, which is in the tree section of the background. This is the first contrast, with only very light shadows on her face.
It’s now Day 3 in my 30 Day Photography Challenge, and today’s challenge is to tackle the black & white photos. This isn’t my first time that I’ve covered black and white, and you can read about it here, and here. I suggest that you should, but for the sake of this article, I’m going to give you a run down.
If you would like to keep track of the 30 Day Photography Challenge, come on over to my Facebook page, Twitter and/or Pinterest, and share your photos with me and the rest of the community. The best ones will be included in these posts. Alternatively, you can leave a comment below. (Note: if you’re linking from Facebook, be sure to ‘copy image address’).
But this is black and white, what are you talking about Josh?
As with the Ice Bucket Challenge, photographers are encouraged to tag friends to rope them in, one friend for each of the seven days. I hope a lot of people decline or politely forget to participate, because if everyone who’s tagged starts posting photos in this vein, we’re going to have to burn down Facebook. (As if all the Russian-purchased ads weren’t bad enough!) Facebook was already corny, but taking the people out of it and rendering it all in pretentious black and white is one thumbs-up more than I’m willing to dole out.