I love a good black and white photo anytime. BUT, I seem to be drawn to black and white photos more during the winter than at any time of the year. Maybe it has to do with how monochromatic winter looks outside. Maybe it has to do with the limited amount of sunshine outside.
Either way, I seem to get in the mood for black and whites in the winter.
But how do you know if your photo will look good as a black and white photo? And what should you be looking for when taking a photo you want to showcase as a black and white?
Here are three things that will help you take a good black and white or decide if a current photo will look good as a black and white.
Simplicity really rules the day in most everything that we do in life or as photographers. It isn’t any different with a black and white photograph.
A simple subject with a simple background will have the most impact as a black and white. If your eye is already drawn to the subject of a photo, a black and white will just make it more so by eliminating any color distraction that was there before.
In this photo, the subject is simple and prominent and the background has been simplified by being blurred. By eliminating the color and making it a black and white, I was able to put the focus on the subject even more.
Great black and white images typically have great contrast. When talking about contrast, I am talking about the difference between the lightest tones and the darkest. Lots of contrast helps to draw the viewers eye to the subject. Good contrast also helps to add depth and dimension.
Good contrast really comes from good lighting. Most any image shot with good lighting can look good as a black and white image.
Without color in the photo, the eye is naturally drawn to shape and form. So, be sure that the large shapes and forms in your image are also the focal point of your image.
Since I don’t recommend you shooting your images as black and whites in camera, post-processing is also a big part of creating black and whites. I’ll cover that in another post soon!