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 #34

August’s theme / technique: Colour Theory

Colour plays an important part in what we see. Our brains interpret colour far better than our cameras do. Anyone trying to photograph a red rose will know how often the photograph is very disappointing.

Successful colour photography means learning to use colour as a compositional tool – a form of visual communication – rather than just reproducing a scene that happens to be in colour.

Colour theory is not just knowing what colours are: primary, tertiary etc and how to make them, but understanding cool and warm colours, complementary (next to each other) and contrasting colours (opposites), neutral and bold colours and how colours can affect our emotions or perceptions of a scene.

      • Don’t overdo it. Too much colour or too many clashing colours can be confusing to the eye and create a chaotic scene.
      • Consider the time of day and the type of light which can affect how different colours appear.
      • If you are not happy with the colour in your image then try adjusting the saturation in post-processing. An image with lower saturation seems softer, dreamy and idealistic. An image with high saturation seems bright and exciting. Think about the feeling you want to convey with your image before deciding how much or how little saturation would best suit the scene.
      • Pay attention to the way you frame colour and use light to enhance it.
This week's assignment - Take a photo of a subject that you like in colour and then convert to Black & White. Show both images for comparison. Which is best? Does the image rely on colour for impact.

If the colours in your photograph are tonally close the image will lack impact when converted to black and white. Colour can be essential to the success of an image in this case.

Continue reading 2020 Photo Challenge #34