2020 Photo Challenge #44

November’s theme / technique: Black and White Photography

If you want to see what this month’s assignments are in advance then please click here. All the assignments are available from the menu on the left under the 2020 Photo Challenge / Assignments.

Often overlooked black and white offers so much depth and emotion and has a timeless nature to it. It’s about searching for a new perspective and creating a visual that is better without colour. It’s about expressing emotion not just removing colour. It’s not about shooting objects that lack colour to begin with (i.e. a zebra)

“To see colour is a delight for the eye, but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul” Andri Cauldwell

Colours are great, but can add distraction to a photo. Black and White images lack those colours and allows you to focus on the contrast and patterns that you may not have previously noticed.

    • If the photo lacks definition try adjusting the contrast or using colour filters in your editing software. Yellow will make things appear darker, orange darker still and red the darkest. Green filters can bring out the detail especially in green subjects. Blue filters block red light, making reds darker.
    • The best black and white photographs often have clear ‘blacks’ and ‘whites’ to guide the viewer.
    • Look for light or dark backgrounds for your photo shoot. Then, simply choose a subject with the opposite tone (light subject with a dark background / dark subject with a light background).
    • Silhouettes don’t necessarily have to be shot with perfect backlight if the subject is dark enough and the background is light.
    • Tones – the underlying brightness, darkness, and shades of grey that appear in an image. The tones of your image – whether dark or bright – should harmonise with the character of the subject itself. Dark tones can be moody and dramatic, light tones ethereal and light.

What is important though is the composition. Try using a square format to emphasise the composition especially if there is a distinct pattern formation. When you take a picture in monochrome you may have to make different decisions about how you compose the shot.

“One sees differently with colour photography than black and white… in short visualisation must be modified by the specific nature of the equipment and materials being used” Ansel Adams

You can use Monochrome Mode on your camera, or turn colour photos into black and white with your favourite post-processing application.

This week's assignment - Look for patterns. Patterns can be very attractive in black and white as there is no colour to detract the viewer. There are great patterns in nature and architecture.

Millennium Bridge leading to St Paul’s Cathedral. London.
Interesting patterns caused by the strong shadows of these bench seats
Fibonacci Sequence – Aloe polyphylla

If you would like to join in with the 2020 photo challenge then please take a look at my 2020 Photo Challenge page. No complicated rules, just a camera required 🙂

    • Create your own post with some information about how you composed the shot.
    • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
    • Add the tag #2020PhotoChallenge so everyone can find your entry easily in the WP Reader
    • Get your post(s) in by the end of the month, as the new theme begins on the first Sunday in December.

Thanks to everyone who took part in last month’s Seascapes assignments. It has been a joy to visit each of your blogs and view your photos.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

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