2020 Photo Challenge #47

November’s theme / technique: Black and White Photography

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. (Low-key vs High-key)

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 - Photograph nature in black and white. This can be more challenging as we often associate the natural world with colour, so look for contrasts, shapes, patterns, tones. Experiment with high-key and low-key effects.

Continue reading 2020 Photo Challenge #47

2020 Photo Challenge #46

November’s theme / technique: Black and White Photography

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 - Make sure you have contrasts in your image(s). Clear whites and strong blacks will add impact and create attention.

Continue reading 2020 Photo Challenge #46

2020 Photo Challenge #45

November’s theme / technique: Black and White Photography

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 shadows and textures. Carefully choose your images so that you can angle the light to create a sense of depth with the shadows.

Continue reading 2020 Photo Challenge #45

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.

Continue reading 2020 Photo Challenge #44

2020 Photo Challenge #43

October’s theme / technique: Seascapes

This can be your typical beach scene of blue water, white sand and beach umbrellas, or it can be more dramatic. Above all make sure you are safe and not likely to be cut off by the tide if you go wandering along the shoreline. Winter storms can make for dramatic shots of waves breaking over a promenade or against the cliffs, but don’t take risks.

Consider three essentials – place, time and means. The most important being place. To discover the perfect position you might have to take your time. When you see a view that looks promising, put your camera away, slow down, walk and look, walk a little more and look a little harder.

    • You might like to soften the water or freeze the waves..
    • Rocky outcrops, lighthouses, surfers, lifeguards all make good subjects

If you are unable to take seascapes or don’t have any in the archives that you would like to use then by all means substitute seascapes with landscapes. This week substitute the beach for woodlands or rolling hills.

This month's final assignment - try capturing the waves: either crashing dramatically against the rocks or a pier, surfers riding the waves, or gentle waves lapping on the seashore. Look out for someone or something that might add interest.  

Hardy surfers and paddle-boarders at Porthleven during stormy winter weather. (with a bi-colour effect applied)

Waves crashing over the pier in Porthleven. Not a place you want to be standing in a storm!

Gentler waves lapping the shore at Gwithian beach in the autumn.

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 week, as the new theme begins next Sunday on Black and White Photography.