Black and white photographs are commonly opted for portraits to enhance the emotion and impact of the image. When colors are stripped away from the photo, it allows the audience to effectively connect with the expression, body and eyes of the subject.
Black and white photos create an aura of intimidation, power, mystery, grief and/or fear. They can help in depicting emotions of emptiness, sadness, and loneliness effectively. With black and white photography, it becomes possible to provide extra perspective and depth to images. Bruce Weber Photographer and many other experienced photographers love to click pictures more in black and white than color. He has even taken a number of charming black and white photographs of his pets. Bruce has been photographing his dogs for more than five decades.
To make their black and white photographs stand out as impressive, striking, dramatic and powerful pieces of modern art, one needs to have a proper understanding of the shutter speeds, special effects, contrast, composition and lighting to use. They should especially try to look for bright or illuminated objects in dark surroundings to take impactful photos.
Here are the four main things one needs to think about when it comes to using lighting for black and white photography:
- Do not think about color temperature: When not shooting in color, there is no point in worrying about the color temperature of fixtures and bulbs as they are not going to even register.
- Focus on light quality: First of all, one needs to understand what is meant by light quality. In photography, light quality doesn’t depict how good or bad a light is, rather it marks the manner in which the light behave, affects and interacts with the subject and its surroundings. Soft and hard lights are the two key concepts linked with photography. Light quality plays a major role in visual storytelling while shooting in black and white.
- Use shadows to create texture: As there is no color there to make things look more vibrant in the shot and break up the visuals, shadows end up becoming the biggest asset of the photographer. They can use shadows to add more depth and textures. Blinds and branches can be used to create interesting shapes in the scene, and to make sure that the frame does not look flat.
- Intensity is the magnifying glass: While shooting in color, one makes use of the hues to tell the audience what to look at, no matter whether it is a bright red doorknob or a yellow dress. This option is not present in black and white photography. Hence, people need to use light intensity to draw the attention of the viewers to the important areas of the frame. Whether the photographer wants to make the viewers look at a certain area, object or person in a shot, they should be brightly lit.
Shadow, texture, and intensity are the core components of black and white photography. Industry experts like Bruce Weber Photographer are well-acquainted with using these elements smartly.