Girl creating a rangoli to celebrate the Pongal festival in Kumbakonam - Stock Image
Rangoli pattern Mala Fontainhas Panjim Goa India - Stock Image
Rangoli Black And White Black And White Photography

Rangoli Black And White Black And White Photography Rangoli Black And White Black And White Photography
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All the photos I’ve shown you so far have two more things in common. One is that the composition is very simple. I’ve deliberately moved in close to the subject and framed it in such a way to eliminate distracting elements. An added benefit is that the tonal contrast becomes much stronger when the composition is simplified.

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One thing you can do to help you visualize the subject in Black and White is switch to your camera’s monochrome mode. The key is to select the Raw format, so that the image is recorded in full 12 or 14 bit colour (essential for good Black and White conversions).

My article Mastering Monochrome Mode goes into this in more detail.

In my previous article I showed you how to convert colour photos to black and white in Lightroom. However, no matter which technique you use, good monochrome photography starts in your mind. If you can learn to see in black and white, you can create beautiful monochrome images. Here are some tips to get you started.

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My article Composition and Negative Space goes into this topic in more detail.

In this portrait I positioned the model against a dark background to take advantage of the difference in brightness between the light falling on her and the light falling on the trees behind her (which were in shade). If you want to create powerful black and white portraits, this style will serve you well.

So far we’ve looked at some of the elements that contribute to strong Black and White images, but that may not be a great help when you’re faced with a colourful subject and the colours are so strong that you can’t visualize how it will turn out in Black and white. Don’t worry if this happens to you – it takes time and practise to learn to see in monochrome.

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The photo on the right shows a dark statue against a near white background. This is the opposite type of tonal contrast, where a dark toned subject is shown against a light background.

But when you play back your images on the camera’s LCD screen, they will be presented in Black and White. If you have a camera with an electronic viewfinder it may even display the scene in black and white as you look through it. This helps you see how the colours in the scene translate to the grey tones that make up a monochrome image. If the image is a little flat, which will happen if you’re not shooting in bright sunlight, increase the contrast to add some pop.

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This portrait is a good example of using negative space. The model’s face (a light tone) is surrounded by an area of dark space that contains just enough detail for you to see what it is (his shirt and the wall behind him). In this portrait you can see the principles of tonal contrast, negative space and simplicity of composition working in harmony together.

Negative space is the area surrounding your subject. It is negative space if it doesn’t contain much detail. In black and white, it would be an area of white, black or grey that creates a kind of frame for your subject, giving it room to breathe within the composition.

But the appeal of black and white photography goes deeper than that. The monochrome image, at its best, is beautiful. It’s art. It captures the beauty and soul of the subject. It moves people. It’s powerful and it endures.

  • Rangoli (traditional floor decoration). Sri Meenakshi temple. Madurai. Tamil Nadu. India
  • Traditional diya lamp lit on colorful rangoli
  • Rangoli pattern , Near Bhavani , South India
  • A woman decorates the step of her house with an intricate design called Rangoli as an act of devotion, Swamimalai, India
  • Kolam / Rangoli – sidewalk drawing with sweeper
  • flower rangoli
  • Rangoli Traditional way of decorating corridors and open veranda on auspicious occasion or to welcome guest
  • Diwali written in rangoli for celebrating diwali and dhanteras in India
  • Girl making a traditional rangoli (decorative sign). Gokarna. Karnataka. India
  • Indian child making rangoli in front of home during festival season, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Rangoli (traditional floor decoration). Sri Meenakshi temple. Madurai. India
  • Kollam or rangoli in front of the house, Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India, Asia
  • India girl making a Rangoli design outside her home in the streets of Puttaparthi during the festival of sankranthi. Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Colorful rangoli, circular designs on the floor during ganesh festival in Pune, Maharashtra, india
  • Coloured Indian powder in metal bowls used for making rangoli designs. White Background
  • Indian sisters making a rangoli design outside there home during the hindu festival of Sankranti. Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Rangoli
  • Boy painting a traditional Rangoli, Kolam or Muggu, decorative pattern of coloured sand, Tamil quarter, Mattancherry, Kochi
  • Skillful rangoli handiwork design on floor using colored stone powder
  • England London Southall Rangoli Pattern For Diwali Outside Home
  • high angle view of a young woman decorating rangoli with oil lamps
  • Written diwali in rangoli on table
  • Rangoli street paintings in Little India in Georgetown, Penang.
  • Bags of rangoli powder for sale, Trichy, Tamil Nadu
  • Girl creating a rangoli to celebrate the Pongal festival in Kumbakonam
  • Colourful rangoli powders sold in the markets in Mysore, Karnataka
  • Happy Diwali. Vector Graphic of Indian Rangoli.Rangoli – A traditional Indian art of decorating the entrance to a house.
  • Artistic Indian rangoli pattern
  • Attractive Flowers Rangoli
  • Diwali and Rangoli
  • Rangoli colors with many lit diyas (oil lamps) around it. Diwali is one of the biggest Indian festivals celebrated every year in India
  • Woman making a rangoli
  • Close-up of a rangoli
  • Close-up of rangoli decoration
  • skillful rangoli for diwali celebration
  • Rangoli Traditional way of decorating corridors and open veranda on auspicious occasion or to welcome guest
  • Rangoli designs: also called as Alpona, Alpana, mehndi, Kolam, Floral, Paisley, Ornamental design. with White Background vector Art
  • Diyas around Rangoli
  • Close-up of rangoli with diyas
  • Chennai woman is making an Rangoli design with Flowers in an Indian street during the hindu festival of Sankranthi India India
  • Girl making a Rangoli to celebrate the Pongal festival
  • Boy adding rice to large mandala Rangoli floor decoration India Live Street Festival Celebration, Vancouver, British Columbia,
  • Colorful Rangoli during Diwali festival
  • Rangoli made of natural flowers, India
  • India Tamil Nadu Madurai Thiruchuli Village Pongal celebration Rangoli competitor
  • Colourful rangoli pattern Maruti Hindu Temple Altinho Panjim Goa India
  • Close-up of rangoli with diyas
  • Rangoli and lightening diya
  • Rangoli ; Khidrapur ; District Kolhapur ; Maharashtra ; India
  • women making rangoli,Gangaur festival,pushkar, Rajasthan, india
  • PRG 81263 : indian woman making pattern of Rangoli india MR
  • Rangoli pattern , Near Bhavani , South India
  • Chennai woman is making an Rangoli design with Flowers in an Indian street during the hindu festival of Sankranthi India India
  • A woman is creating an artful Rangoli, made by colorpowder, at Holi festival on the street
  • Rangoli decoration with colored powder. Chiplum, Maharashtra
  • Boy adding rice to large mandala Rangoli floor decoration India Live Street Festival Celebration, Vancouver, British Columbia,
  • Rangoli pattern
  • India Tamil Nadu Madurai Thiruchuli Village Pongal celebration Rangoli competitors
  • Traditional Rangoli, Kolam or Muggu, decorative pattern made of coloured sand outside a door, Rameswaram, Pamban Island
  • Rangoli designs in an Indian street , during the hindu festival of Sankranthi. Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Vijs Rangoli Indian restaurant in the South Granville neighborhood of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • The Rangoli, an artwork made from colorpowder and an oil lamp to welcome the festival Diwali
  • A colorful water rangoli in Madurai, India
  • Rangol design on an Indian street at Dasara festival. Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • The imageof procession was shot in Girgaon Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Indian woman making a Rangoli festival design in an Indian street at the hindu festival of Sankranthi. Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Written diwali in rangoli on table
  • Rangoli
  • Rangoli street paintings in Little India in Georgetown, Penang.
  • Colors for sale in the market. These are used to fill in the traditional Rangavali designs.
  • Colorful rangoli art with hindu puja items, flowers, dhoti and money
  • Traditional Rangoli, Kolam or Muggu, decorative pattern made of coloured sand, Rameswaram, Pamban Island, Tamil Nadu, India
  • A Rangoli artist in Lincolnshire, UK
  • Rangoli with om
  • Rangoli pattern Mala Fontainhas Panjim Goa India
  • Rangoli with lightern diyas
  • Rangoli and diyas
  • Traditional Rangoli, Kolam or Muggu, decorative pattern made of coloured sand, Rameswaram, Pamban Island, Tamil Nadu, India
  • An elderly woman’s foot on decorative Rangoli at the Tamaraikulum Elders village, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Printed, colorful, geometrical pattern of rangoli stuck on mosaic tiled floor
  • India Tamil Nadu Kumbakonam Mahamakham Tank Pongal festival rangoli decoration competitor
  • Woman making a rangoli while her children watch
  • Coloured Indian powder in metal bowls used for making rangoli designs at festivals
  • India Tamil Nadu Kumbakonam rangoli decoration in road opposite Nageshwara Temple
  • India, Tamil Nadu State, Mahabalipuram, a rangoli drawn on a doorstep with rice powder to ward off evil spirits
  • Girl creating a Rangoli to celebrate the festival of Pongal in Kumbakonam
  • India Woman & Rangoli Pattern
  • Rangoli Indian art on the floor at a Diwali festival
  • Colorful Rangoli during Diwali festival
  • Boy painting a traditional Rangoli, Kolam or Muggu, decorative pattern of coloured sand, Tamil quarter, Mattancherry, Kochi
  • Indian girls design a Rangoli with traditional colors to welcome deities ahead of the Hindu festival of Diwali.
  • Rangoli decorations on a wall to bring good luck and also as a sign of auspiciousness at Shilparamam arts and crafts village in Hyderabad, India.
  • Flower rangoli
  • India, Tamil Nadu State, Mahabalipuram, a rangoli drawn on a doorstep with rice powder to ward off evil spirits
  • A lday drawing rangoli, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Decorative Rangoli at the Tamaraikulum Elders village, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Rangoli (traditional floor decoration). Sri Meenakshi temple. Madurai. India
  • A Rangoli artist in Lincolnshire, UK
  • Rangoli street paintings in Little India in Georgetown, Penang.
  • Southall London Rangoli Pattern For Diwali Outside Home

Tonal contrast happens when there is a clear difference in brightness between your subject and the background. Here are two examples.

Colour photography is very literal. It depicts the world as it really is. Black and white, on the other hand, gives us a new way of seeing. Removing colour takes us a step away from reality and towards creating an artistic interpretation. Shape, form, tone and texture are revealed to the eye, rather than overpowered by colour.

I moved in close to crop everything but the vendor’s hand and the Chairman Mao pocket watch in this photo taken in an antique market in Shanghai. The simple composition emphasises the texture of the watch and hand as well as the difference in brightness between them and the background.

The photo on the left shows a white sticker pasted on a door. There is tonal contrast between the light and dark tones. In this image you find a light tone (the sticker) surrounded by dark tones (the door), a type of tonal contrast that works very effectively in Black and White.

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Tonal contrast is the basis of many successful black and white photos. Images that make good use of tonal contrast convert to monochrome with little effort. Let’s take a look at a couple of practical examples.

Hopefully these tips will help you see in black and white and create better monochrome images. Do you have any tips for seeing in black and white? Please add them in the comments below.

You can learn more about tonal contrast in my article Improving Composition with Tonal Contrast.

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Here I took advantage of the difference in brightness between the twigs in the home-made broom and the dark stones. You can see the same principle in action as in the portrait, a light toned subject against a dark toned background. I knew this would make a strong black and white image because it contains two things that look good in monochrome: texture and tonal contrast.

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