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Modern Black And White Film Photographers.

Shoot RAW + JPEG. The most excellent monochrome conversions are run into 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 picture 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 rule 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 could also do this if they activate their camera’s live sneaking suspicion road , but the usually slower responses mean that numerous will find it preferable or check the image on the screen post-capture.

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 at once 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 featureless straight from the camera. luckily , it’s possible to work adjust the brightness of these two colours separately 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 strong 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 best composition.

Try Long Exposure. Long exposure shots could 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 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 reduce exposure and extend shutter speed (by 10 and 4 stops respectively). characteristically , when exposures extend beyond as regards 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.

Dodge and Burn. Dodging and burning is a process 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 hope of because you could target the highlights, shadows or mid-tones with both. This means that you should 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 fashion of sharing a sense of superior sharpness and enhancing texture. Plus, because you can set the opacity of the tools, you can build up her effect gradually so the impact is crafty and there are no hard edges.

Take Control. Although coloured filters could still be used to manipulate contrast when shooting digital black and white images, it’s more common to save this work until the processing stage. Until a some years ago Photoshop’s Channel Mixer was the preferred means of turning colour images monochrome, but now Adobe Camera Raw has more powerful 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 subtle gradations can become unnatural looking. And adjusting the brightness of a red or rosy 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 discrimination between objects of the same brightness but with unique colours.

Use Filters. Graduated neutral density (AKA ND grad) and polarizing filters are purely as useful in monochrome photography as they are in colour. In fact, because they manipulate image contrast they are arguably more useful . An ND grad is collaborative when you want to retain detail in a bright sky while a polarizing filter can be used to decrease reflections and boost contrast. Alternatively, estimate 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, can also be advantageous for manipulating contrast in digital images. They work by darkening objects of their opposite colour while lightening objects of his own. An orange filter, for example, will darken the blue of the sky while a green one will lighten foliage.

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This enigmatic photographer doesn’t share much information on her portfolio, but her photos are stunning. In addition to two series of self portraits, she’s also shot black and white photos of a range of musicians. Her self portraits, in which she’s often floating underwater, are frequently superimposed over images of plants, giving the work an organic, abstract feel.

Based in Seattle, Sebastian Cvitanic specializes in analog photography, capturing striking black and white portraits as well as lively street snapshots. Cvitanic aims to take photos that are beautiful in their simplicity, working in a classic, straightforward style. Organizing images into separate galleries of black and white portraits, color portraits, couples, and other categories keeps his portfolio site easy to navigate.

Once a given, the absence of color in photography from the last few decades is now a deliberate choice, not a technological limitation. So why would a modern photographer opt for black and white, forgoing those vivid Lomo hues or subtle customized tones of an advanced SLR? Here are a few current big shots who don’t care for color, for whom shooting in black and white allows a specific style, a certain punch, a special magic their vision demands. Check ’em out in our slideshow and let us know if we missed anyone.

English photographer Jack French’s black and white photos are incredibly peaceful. “I’m interested in how to get closer and deeper into nature using photography,” says French in his portfolio bio. On his site, he presents three very simple galleries of work: Woods, Rock, and Water. The minimal style fits well with French’s quiet, contemplative photography.

Magazine Galleries Photography The Most Innovative Photographers Working in Black & White

Fashion photographer Darryl Richardson has shot for Brooklyn’s Flatbush Zombies, and done backstage shoots for brands like Hood By Air, Maison Kitsune, and Alexander Wang. He’s also shot street scenes in cities from Tokyo to Mexico City. Richardson separates his portfolio into fashion and travel photography, allowing for easy navigation of his diverse work. A super minimal menu gives his portfolio a modern vibe.

Charlotte Navio is a French photographer based in Paris. She’s worked with brands like L’Oreal, Givenchy, and Lancome. Navio uses a vertically scrolling grid theme to display her portrait work, including lots of classic black and white shots. A floating, pastel-hued menu allows access to other portfolio pages without distracting from her work.

Photographer Andre D. Wagner works exclusively with analog film, developing his own prints in a traditional darkroom. Originally from Nebraska, he can now typically be found in New York City, where he excels at capturing street scenes that are full of energy. His black and white photos have a classic feel. Wagner displays his images one by one, keeping galleries short.

This Belgrade-born, Brooklyn-based photographer shoots almost exclusively with black and white film; his work is the real deal. From gangs in New York City projects to skinheads in Serbia, from the streets of Tokyo to the back roads of Kingston… Yeah, we’re not trying to romanticize it, but he roams wide and deep, and catches potent, definitive moments effortlessly amidst the chaos. It’s photojournalism so good, it’s art. The grayscale, grainy grittiness is a perfect stylistic fit.

New York photographer Richard Rothman has work in the permanent collections of institutions like the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Rothman’s black and white photography is meditative and quiet, capturing unexpected moments of depth. He gives context to his work right away by using his About page as him home page on his online portfolio.

Originally from Japan, and now based in Brooklyn, Haruka Sakaguchi’s black and white photography is full of life. Whether she’s shooting portraits or documenting her surroundings on travels across the United States and elsewhere, Sakaguchi’s images are powerful and carefully considered. She uses a classic serif font to give her portfolio a professional feel.

From English photographer Josh Nice who documents skateboarders across Europe, to New York street photographer Andre D. Wagner who develops his own film, these portfolios set the standard for what’s possible in black and white.

Based in Belgium, Jean-François Flamey takes enigmatic photos on film. His black and white images are eerie, artfully unfocused, capturing brief moments in time. Flamey arranges his photos in a collage-like format across a horizontal scroll, exhibiting a number of different, compelling series.

Based in Austria, Sarah Gallaun is a portrait and fashion photographer. She mixes black and white and color images for a varied and interesting online portfolio. Gallaun has worked with Monki, and been featured in outlets like Cake and Contributor magazine.

Cover image by Haruka Sakaguchi. Want to see more of our favorite portfolios? Check out the best online portfolios by Format’s best… Fashion photographers Portrait photographers Wedding photographers Illustrators Designers Artists using animated GIFs

Based between Berlin and Scandinavia, photographer Pernille Sandberg shoots fashion and fine art photos, mostly in black and white. Whether she’s creating abstract portraits or documenting backstage moments at runway shows, Pernille’s images are powerful. She uses a minimal sidebar theme to sort her work into categories like art, portrait, and fashion series.

Highlights of this Dutch photographer’s portfolio include a compelling portrait study of author Bredje Hofstede, pictured here, as well as a black and white photo project called Looking At The Other, in which Kars asked fellow train riders in the New York subway system to take her photo. Kars displays photos one by one for a minimal, distraction-free portfolio.

London fashion photographer Rebecca Naen often shoots on 35mm film, working with magazines like Coeval, Oyster, and Client. She offers a brief introduction to her portfolio with an overview gallery, and then organizes the rest of her work by dividing it between personal and editorial images.

Charlee Black is a photographer based in the American Midwest. She specializes in gorgeous, up-close black and white portraits, and uses a vertically scrolling theme to show them off in a way that grabs the viewer’s attention.

Boogie    Daido Moriyama    Joel Peter Witkin    Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison    Roger Ballen    Sally Mann

Whether it’s photographing ancient ruins in Utah or mountains in Montana (as seen here), photographer Rob Outlaw knows what makes a landscape photo work. The established American photographer has been documenting scenery stateside for over thirty years. He creates an elegant online portfolio with a subdued grey background that makes his black and white images pop.

To celebrate the creative talent that’s opting out of color, we put together this list of 20 photographers that has mastered shooting black and white in their own style. They prove that you don’t need color to be captivating.

Based in Southern California, Cinthya Guillen specializes in black and white analog photographs. In her Commuter Series, seen here, the most prosaic train stations seem interesting when framed in film photos. Guillen uses a minimal theme, without much text, to keep the focus on her work.

Create your own black and white photography portfolio using Format. It’s free for 14 days, no credit card required.

New York photographer Lee Bullitt takes intimate portraits on analog film, often shooting in black and white. Bullitt introduces her work via one page which lists selected photo series, and includes separate pages for her bio and press mentions to keep things organized. Her unique logo helps make her portfolio memorable.

This London photographer and skateboarder captures the exploits of a French skate crew beautifully in candid analog photos. His black and white photography feels especially classic. Nice introduces his portfolio website via a vertical scroll of his best shots, with a sidebar menu linking to different series.

Based in Amsterdam, Lieke Romeijn takes beautiful, delicate analog portraits, as well as photos of the places she visits. Romeijn organizes her images with a grid theme, which allows separate series to stand alone as whole bodies of work.

Since the introduction of color film in 1958, black and white photography has taken on a classic, nostalgic feel. It’s a universal way for present-day photographers to create a retro look. It’s not an easy style to work with, however. Black and white photography can be extremely challenging to keep interesting and dynamic—after all, the final image won’t look like what you see through the viewfinder.

No one can capture freckles as well as Agata Serge does. The Polish photographer, who is currently based in Łódź, Poland, excels at sharply focused portraits and editorial shoots. She has won a number of awards for her photography, including International Photographer of the Year in 2016, and she was included in New Dutch Photography Talent in 2014. Serge keeps her portfolio simple with a classic logo.

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