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 area than they would with a short exposure and this should help enhance tonal contrast. The blurring of the movement also adds textural contrast with any solid objects in the frame. If compulsory , use a neutral density filter such as Lee Filters’ Big Stopper or Little Stopper to decrease exposure and extend shutter speed (by 10 and 4 stops respectively). classically , when exposures extend farther than in regard to 1/60 sec a tripod is required 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 purely as advantageous in monochrome photography as they are in colour. In fact, because they manipulate image contrast they are arguably more useful . An ND grad is helpful when you want to retain detail in a bright sky while a polarizing filter may be used to decrease reflections and boost contrast. Alternatively, think of taking two or more shots with different exposures to create a high dynamic range (HDR) composite. Don’t be anxious 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 single will lighten foliage.
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 one 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 crafty gradations may become unnatural looking. And adjusting the brightness of a red or rosy shirt with the red sliding control, for instance , will have an impact on the model’s skin, especially the lips. The Levels and Curves controls can also be used to manipulate tonal range and contrast, but the HSL/Grayscale controls allow you to create demarcation between objects of the same brightness but with different colours.
Look for Contrast, Shape and Texture. The complimentary and opposing colours that bring a colour image to life are all decreased 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 right away 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 dull straight from the camera. happily , it’s possible to work adjust the brightness of these two colours singly to introduce some contrast. However, a good 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 forceful blacks and whites. This may 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.
Shoot RAW + JPEG. The most excellent monochrome conversions are run against 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. most 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 manner 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 may also do this if they activate their camera’s live assumption mannerism , but the usually slower responses mean that most will find it preferable or check the image on the screen post-capture.
Dodge and Burn. Dodging and burning is a trait 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 could only thought of taking a degree of because you should 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 up them to increase local contrast. It’s a great street of giving a sense of greater sharpness and enhancing texture. Plus, because you can set the opacity of the tools, you can build up their effect gradually so the impact is subtle and there are no hard edges.
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He photographed many famous icons in American pop-culture and beyond and was very good at switching up the usual style of fashion and portrait photography with his unique photos. Find a more complete bio of him on Artsy.
Steve McCurry is an American Photojournalist who has done work for National Geographic and has won countless awards for his photojournalism and coverage of various wars throughout history.
Her philosophy involved taking real photos. Photos that involved flaws and shortcomings, not beautified perfection.
Arguably one of the most famous American portrait photographers, Annie Leibovitz is known for her exceptional work photographing the portraits of celebrities. She has worked for Rolling Stone Magazine, Vanity Fair, and a few other fashion and pop-culture publications.
He was very famous in the era of vintage film and the rise of the cinema. His most famous subjects included Audrey Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, and the Beatles.
Her portrait photography is consistent with this as she primarily photographed marginal people such as dwarfs, giants, nudists, performers, and other deviants.
Her use of bold colors, intriguing light, and unique poses is what ultimately helped her work gain exposure.
Some of Yousuf’s subjects included Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Helen Keller, Grace Kelly, and so many others.
Antonin Kratochvil is a photojournalist and portrait photographer from Czechoslovakia. His work unique in that he has photographed everything from celebrities to war victims.
He has a unique style and leans toward black and white for most of hist work.
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Portrait photography is a constant challenge and requires the photographers creativity in order to really achieve beautiful portraits.
Known for her black and white portrait photography of seemingly ugly or surreal people, Diane Arbus is one of the more unique portrait photographers out there.
One of the more common types of photography, especially in the digital age of the “selfie“, is portrait photography. Also known as portraiture, portrait photography is the art of taking a photo of a single person or group of people, capturing their most real mood and emotion.
From celebrities to politicians to world leaders and thought provokers, Yousuf Karsh photographed the best of the best.
Hist work was intriguing and prominent in the fields of fashion and style.
She truly can be considered one of the best portrait photographers of all time as her work during the Depression showed the faces and emotions of so many affected.
11 Best Portrait Photographers to Inspire You Mike January 12, 2015 Inspiration 44 Comments
Known for pushing the bar and heavily influencing American style, Richard Avedon is one of the most prominent fashion and portrait photographers of all time.
He took stunning portraits for various Native American’s and each photo tells a story. Effectively he is prominent in visualizing American history, and that is why he is one of the best portrait photographers.
A portrait photographer from South Wales, Angus McBean is remembered for his portrait photography of celebrities in the early 1900s.
She is known for her work photographing victims of the Great Depression and was very important in the development of documentary photography.
One of the most famous portraits of all time comes from Steve McCurry. Known as “Afghan Girl“, it is commonly compared to the Mona Lisa and other famous works of art.
Herb Ritts was an American Fashion and Portrait photographer who took most of his photos in black and white, with a unique touch. He positioned his models in the style of classical Greek sculpture.
An influential documentary photographer and American photojournalist, Dorothea Lange was fundamental in documenting the Depression Era.
Yousuf Karsh was an Armenian-Canadian portrait photographer most widely recognized for his clientele. When it came to portrait photography, he photographed all the top people in the world.
Philippe is the photographer responsible for some of the 20th century’s most recognizable portraits. He was an American portrait photographer who had some eccentric photography.
His best work includes portraits of Marlon Brando, Salvador Dali, Marilyn Monroe, and more.
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A photographer of the American West and Native American peoples, Edward S. Curtis was one of the earliest portrait photographers, being born in 1868.
Some of the best portraits involve the most authentic capture of human emotion and expression. Learn more about photography from the best portrait photographers below.