Nature Photography Black And White With Color Black And White Photography

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The photograph in color fall walk in black and white

Andrew S. Gibson is a writer, publisher, traveler, workshop leader and photographer based in the UK. He started writing about photography while traveling in Bolivia, and has been published in many prestigious photography magazines including EOS magazine, where he worked as a Writer and Technical Editor for two years. He is inspired by meeting new people, seeing new places and having new experiences. Check out his photography ebooks here.

Black & white landscape photo taken in Asturias, Spain

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If you think about the sort of things that appear in landscape photos – cliffs, rocks, grass, trees, mountains, sea and man-made objects like piers and jetties – they all have distinct textures.

Color and black and white portraits of Asian woman

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One advantage of this is that you can go back over old photos and pick out the ones that would work well in monochrome.

How to Use Texture to Make Better Black & White Landscape Photos

For example, this photo works well in black and white because of the contrast between the twin waterfalls and the dark rocks.

In Mastering Composition I wrote about an interview I once read with American landscape photographer David Muench who works predominantly in color but describes his photos as black and white images with a layer of color on top. I interpret that as meaning that he composes using tonal contrast and texture exactly as he would if were shooting in black and white, except that he chooses to work in color.

Color and black and white portraits of Asian woman

Even if you do live somewhere with spectacular landscapes, you will need to travel to expand your experience and add depth to your portfolio. All my favorite landscape photos were taken while traveling. The two activities go together very well. Travel is more interesting and exciting when there’s a purpose behind it. Landscape photography is one of the things that can give you that sense of purpose.

Black and white photography is as popular as ever, and landscape is a genre in which many photographers have chosen to work in monochrome. But working in black and white is different to working in color. It takes time, and practice, to develop your eye for black and white. These tips will help you make better black and white landscape photos.

You can educate yourself about black and white landscape photography by looking at the work of masters like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston who worked predominantly in black and white. Also look at what modern day photographers are doing by browsing 500px. Some names to search for include Cole Thompson, Rob Dweck, Arnaud Bertrande, Thibault Roland, Joel Tjintjelaar and Nathan Wirth.

With those variables set, the shutter speed depends on the ambient light level. In bright sunlight, it might be around 1/125 second. In low light, it could be as low as 1/2 a second. But what if you’d like to use a slower shutter speed for creative effect? If ISO and aperture are fixed, the only way you get longer shutter speeds is by using neutral density filters.

How to Create Black-and-White Photographs with Color Accents

Anybody who visits this beach will naturally want to take photos of those arches. They are why the spot is famous. But this can be a hindrance when it closes your eyes to other possibilities. After getting my rock arch photos, I really started looking. I saw some rocks in the sea that made an interesting minimalist composition. So I made the following photo.

Color street photo of men playing xiangqi near the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China

Photographer Cole Thompson has an interesting idea. He practices what he calls photographic abstinence, and doesn’t look at the work of other photographers. The theory is that it enables him to see the landscape through his own eyes, without being influenced by other people’s photos.

I’ve never taken this idea to its extreme because I believe it’s important to research an area before you go to find its most photogenic parts. But the problem with this is that the most powerful images you see during your research tend to stick in your mind. The natural tendency is to want to create similar images. The problem is that you then end up with photos that look like everybody else’s.

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Color and black and white photo of buddha figure

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Grayscale Photography of Rose

Neutral density filters are the secret weapon of the landscape photographer. They are made of glass that blocks light so that less reaches the camera’s sensor.

Then I added a neutral density filter and made this photo (below) with a shutter speed of 180 seconds (3 minutes). The water is completely blurred, and the clouds have moved across the sky, creating a streaked effect.

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In the photo below, the arch, the cliffs in the distance, and the rocks in the foreground are all heavily textured. The sea and the sky are much smoother. There is a strong contrast between the roughness and tactility of the rocks, and the smoothness of the sea and the sky.

Black & white portrait of young woman

Sometimes I wonder whether I should commit to working entirely in black and white as some of my favorite photographers do. I’ve learned not to waste mental energy thinking about this question any more. Now I just relax and accept that sometimes black and white will be more appealing, and sometimes color will. Why worry about it when we have the choice of both and can switch between them at will?

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Monochrome Photography of Person On Dark Room

The use of color accents in a black-and-white photograph is an old technique — older, in fact, than color photography. (Originally, the color was painted onto photographic prints.) The trick goes in and out of vogue with advertisers, but peruse any magazine rack long enough and you’re almost guaranteed to find at least one example. And although this special effect is most often found in professional photography, modern photo editing software puts it within easy reach of any interested amateur.

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Hopefully, this article has given you an insight into why I love black and white landscape photography so much and that it inspires you to give it a go yourself. Do you have any tips for black and white landscape photography? Please share in the comments below.

Tonal contrast is the term used to describe variations in brightness between different parts of the image. Take the photo below as an example. The jetties, silhouetted against the evening sky, are dark. The sky is much lighter. This is tonal contrast. The sea is mid-grey – darker than the sky, brighter than the jetties.

Color photo of young boy in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China

All the photos that I have shown you so far were taken in northern Spain. Unless you are lucky enough to live in an area like this, it is likely that, like me, you need to travel to find similar inspiring landscapes to photograph.

Black & white street photo of men playing xiangqi near the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China

Color landscape photo taken in Asturias, Spain

Color and black and white portraits of Asian woman

When you look at their work, ask yourself why their black and white landscape photos are so dramatic and powerful? What light are they shooting in? What photographic techniques are they using? How do they approach composition? The answers will teach you a lot about black and white photography.

Color and black and white landscape photos

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Learn more about photographing the black & white landscape with my ebook The Black & White Landscape.

Create Better B&W Portraits With UltraBlack Lightroom Develop Presets

One of the benefits of working with digital cameras is that they can help you learn to see in black and white. All you have to do is set your camera to its black and white (monochrome) mode. It then shows you the scene in black and white in Live View, and if your camera has one, in the electronic viewfinder as well.

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Gray Scale Photo of Body of Water

I have taken a color photo many times and only realized later that it would look good in black and white. I think it’s because my approach to composition is to look for strong shapes and textures and to simplify the composition – an approach that works well for both color and black and white photos.

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I thought it would be interesting to show you both black and white and color versions of some of my favorite photos and let you make up your minds as to which treatment works best. Which do you prefer? Did I lose anything by converting to black and white? If you find this exercise instructional you can try it with your own photos as well. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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How to Get Great Contrast in Photography

Don’t forget to set your camera to shoot in Raw format. Raw files contain all the information captured by your camera’s sensor, and give you the freedom to process the images in color if you want, even if you initially shoot in black and white mode.

'Everyone Says It So It Must Be True': The Pseudoscience Quiz

Think about how many times you’ve flipped through a magazine and seen it: a black-and-white image spread across the page, with a bold splash of color highlighting part of the scene. Maybe it’s the blue eyes of a model, or the bright plumage of a bird as it wings across the page, but that simple break from the monochrome background draws your eye and captures your attention.

Neutral density filters give you control over shutter speed, which you can then use creatively to create more interesting black and white landscapes.

Without travel, I would never have experienced and photographed places like this (photo taken in Bolivia).

This helps you see in black and white, without being distracted by color. It’s useful because it makes it easier to see tonal contrast, texture, lines, shapes, patterns, and light.

Color and black and white photos of vintage kitchen scales

But there are also times when you may be better served by deciding whether you’re going to work in color or black and white (or even a mix of the two) before you start a shoot, so you can commit to one style of seeing and composition.

Adding a selective splash of color to a black-and-white image leverages the most powerful features of both black-and-white and color photography. The color provides striking contrast that immediately draws your eye to the colorized subject — most often the main focal point of the photo. You instinctively scan the rest of the picture and pick up on the emphasized pattern and texture play against the color contrast, causing a truly enhanced viewing experience [sources: Design-Lib; Morton; Ghodke].

Color and black and white portraits of man

I touched on this in the previous tip, but I want to emphasize them here because they are so important.

Color and black and white portraits of man with beard

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Black & white photo of young boy in the Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Color portrait of young woman

The question of whether to process photos in color or black and white (or even both) is an interesting topic of discussion. Anybody who uses a digital camera can easily create two or more versions of the same photo. This is a big change from the days of film photography because you no longer have to commit to one or the other when you create the initial photo.

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6 Tips to Help You Make Better Black and White Landscape Photos

With digital you just take the photo and decide afterwards. It helps if you are aware that you are going to convert a photo to black and white when you take it as you can concentrate on the elements that make interesting black and white images – light, texture, contrast and so on. But equally you can work in color and convert it afterwards.

For such a complex effect, it’s an easy one to achieve with modern editing software. The specific process for the program you use may vary slightly, but the instructions on the next two pages will give you a big head start toward learning to add color accents to black-and-white photos.

Find the most beautiful black and white stock photos on this page ranging from photos of people to landscape, city and skyline photography. Scroll down and discover amazing black and white images that can also be used as desktop wallpapers. You are free to download all of these free stock photos. All photos are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.

Grayscale Photography of Girl Holding Plush Toy

Here’s an example. This photo was taken at dusk with an aperture of f/11 at ISO 200, and a shutter speed of 1/5th of a second. This was slow enough to introduce some blur into the water, which you can see in the foreground.

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With film, the main choices were between color negative, color slide or black and white negative film. The act of committing to either color or black and white helped you concentrate on finding subject and compositions that suited your choice.

To understand why they are so useful let’s think about the typical settings used for a landscape photo. First of all, you set your ISO as low as possible for the best image quality (ISO 100 or 200 on most cameras). Next, you set an aperture that ensures everything in the scene is in sharp focus while avoiding the smallest apertures on your camera because of diffraction related softening. Most landscape photos are taken at f/11 or f/16.

Black and white is different. Without color, you have to work harder to create strong compositions. You need to learn to look for the building blocks of photographic composition, such as leading lines, shapes, patterns, tonal contrast and texture. Really, what you are learning to do is see in black and white.

I often find myself getting caught in a battle between black and white and color, moving between the two, often processing two versions of the same photo. This battle has always existed, but now we have the luxury of making the decision later in the photo making stage, after pressing the shutter button rather than before.

Can You Name These Famous Baseball Players From Just One Image?


With color landscape photos, you can rely on the strength of the color to create drama and interest. The key to good color landscape photography is to find a dramatic scene and photograph it in the most beautiful light possible. That’s why so many color landscape photos are taken during the golden hour or just after sunset.

Color or black & white?

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It doesn’t feature the arches the beach is famous for, but it’s more personal to me and was more satisfying to make.

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‘Everyone Says It So It Must Be True’: The Pseudoscience Quiz

But in an era when color photography can capture the most subtle shades nature throws at us, why does black-and-white photography still hold such sway? Part of the answer has to do with how we’re wired to process visual information. Color is a powerful force for driving our focus — the hunter-gatherer instincts that helped us spot animals hiding in the bush now draw us to pick out the color that doesn’t seem to belong in a scene. Take away the color from even a familiar image, however, and our minds are thrown for a perceptual loop. We may impose remembered hues on an object seen in black-and-white, but we’re also likely to become much more aware of the texture, patterns and shading in the image. These attributes would still be there in a color photo, but they take front-and-center in black-and-white.

Let me give you an example. Earlier this year I visited the Playa de las Catedrales (Cathedral Beach) in northern Spain. Search for it on 500px and most photos will look something like this, showing the cathedral-like arches for which the beach is named.

Advanced Tips These advanced tips are that will help you look past all the essential ideas which cowl most elements of photography. The digicam gear, tools and equipment are things that allow you to take higher photographs. These tips are there that can assist you gain deeper data , taking a look at a possible message, experience or emotion you need to portray. This text helps the place and when to use things equivalent to micro-contrast. Additionally find out how to successfully use and place the blackest areas of the photograph in relation to the mid-tone gray areas. Your photographs will benefit immensely.

How To Make an Image Black and White in Photoshop & Lightroom All cameras, except for the Leica M Monochrom, take photographs in colour. In order for you a black and white picture , then you might want to convert the color to a monochrome state. There are numerous methods you are able to do this, however only some will give you the very best high quality and tonal range. Learn our article right here on find out how to make a picture black and white, without dropping high quality , element or other essential factors.

Publish -Processing Black and White Photography All digital enhancing software for Mac, PC, smartphone or Android offers a conversion from color to black and white. Unless you took a color photograph , converted it into black and white in a non- destructive method , you cannot revert it. The knowledge is not there. There are numerous methods to transform to black and white, some of which are non- destructive ( permits you to return to color in the event you like) however only some methods the place you`ll be able to convert the image properly. This article tells you what you should or shouldn’t be doing to get probably the most out of your photographs.

Find out how to Edit Pictures on Mobile Now that we now have seemed primarily at DSLRs, let’s turn our attention in the direction of mobile photography. Shooting together with your cellular is quick and straightforward , and now converting and processing your photographs into black and whites isn`t any extra difficult. This article exhibits you find out how to make the most of an app to show these photographs into something really dramatic.

The best way to Manage Pictures in Put up - Manufacturing Working with black and white images just isn`t the identical as working with colour – each have completely different focuses and need totally different areas of attention. The Black and White images can benefit from colours. Adding yellow into the image using a color mixer can affect the detail in the sky. This brings out characteristics in an in any other case overexposed section of the image. Also , tweaking of contrasts and highlights can have very dramatic ends in a Black and White photograph.

Things to Take into account When Enhancing Black and White Pictures When it comes all the way down to the enhancing of your images , the hardware might be just as necessary because the software you use. Your laptop monitor could have a colour administration system that will present your photographs in another way to the colour administration of the printing. Additionally , where you edit the photographs can be essential , creating colour casts that change the way you see our images. You might suppose that black and white photos won`t be affected, however they still use color info in the gray , mid-tone areas of your work. Whatever you may be doing along with your photos as a ultimate product, be it a e book or an exhibition, all of them want totally different treatments.

Easy methods to Use Tonal Contrast with Pictures The tonal range in black and white photography is without doubt one of the most important things to focus on. The vary is basically the degree of how vivid or how darkish elements of your picture are. The larger the tonal vary , that means the more darkish and light areas there are, the extra impressive the image. Although distinction works nicely in both colour and black and white, the latter needs it extra to face out and make an enduring impression.

10 Ideas for Utilizing Luminosity Masks in Digital Blending Luminosity masks are a feature in Photoshop that helps you isolate areas of a excessive light depth within the photograph ’s pixels. With these alternatives , you possibly can choose areas of the photograph and solely work on particular tones, not the entire image. These are nice to help increase the main focus and look of a specific object in your frame. This text provides you a great rundown, from creating the masks to the completed image.

How to Transition From Taking to Making the Photograph Ansel Adams mentioned , “You don’t take a photograph , you make it”. This information takes you thru many ideas. Looking at the primary elements , what makes an incredible photograph and tips on how to make it right into a final , polished print. Focusing on the essential ideas and persevering with to identify , isolate and control the elements will help your photographic confidence.

How to Edit Black And White Pictures in Lightroom Lightroom is one of the finest instruments out there that can assist you get the perfect out of your photography. It`s straightforward and quick to pick -up and may also help along with your workflow. Presets are a good way to get very impressive images. They`re also quick and straightforward to use and are created by photographic lovers or Adobe itself. In this article, you may get an thought of what you ought to be taking a look at relating to editing your work and how to achieve dramatic results.

Processing Pictures in Photoshop Compared to the ease of processing photos in Lightroom, Photoshop is a little more complicated and requires extra learning time. This text helps you to get the best out of your black and white picture by working with colour layers, filters and mixing options.

IMAGE COLLECTIONS : Nature Photography Black And White With Color Black And White Photography

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