How to Create Great Specialty Photos
The black and
white effect is used by artists and fashion photographers to create abstracts
or ‘other worldly’ images.
The camera equipment required in black & white is
not very different than other types of photography, but the key actually lies
in the processing and printing quality. This is an important area of emphasis
in black & white photographs in order to get the desired effect.
If you are
using a film or digital camera, you may need an assortment of lenses for different
situations – such as a combination of wide-angle lens as well as a standard lens.
If you want to experiment with black and white photography, many successful shots
can be captured using the equipment you already own.
If you want large prints,
you may need a camera with a high-resolution digital image sensor for sharpness
of large format prints. The resolution should be more than 3 mega pixels.
Contrast, contrast, contrast
Since color is not available to draw the viewers
eye into the photo, the use of lights and darks are all-important in black and
Removing color from the photo fixes the eye on the details
of the image. This allows the photographer to control the experience of the image
in ways that are not possible when colors are present.
Bump up the contrast on a visually appealing shot to add drama and to enhance the mood.
develop your photographs in the darkroom (traditional film based camera) or process
the pictures digitally, when you develop the picture yourself you have the leeway
to heighten or reduce the contrasts in your pictures based on the type of impression
and visual impact you hope to create. You can also scan from traditionally processed
negatives onto a computer and then process the images digitally.
To fine-tune the images digitally you need some basic knowledge
of Photoshop or other professional level graphics software. Without manipulating
the main picture in any way, you can enhance your black and white images by fine-tuning
Graphics software assists in optimizing the images. The principles
are the same as those used in a traditional darkroom.
graphics programs you can apply various techniques like dodging (you selectively
lighten a certain portion of a photo), cropping, optimizing density and fine tuning
the contrasts. Fine tuning the contrasts is important in creating the right effect
in black and white.
Most good graphics programs allow you to change a color photo into a black and white
rendition. You may want to start out by experimenting with some of your old color
images to see what dramatic effects you can get by playing with the brightness
and contrast. This will help to train your eye when you go out and shoot in black
The print quality is another important factor in creating high
impact black & white photographs. If you intend to print digitally processed images,
you need a good printer and long lasting ink in your printer. You should also
use photo quality, non acid based paper to print your images.
More about black & white photography around the Web: