Black and white photographs have many great attributes, not least that they are simply eye-catching and can be really effective with the right subject matter. Colour is not always the attribute that makes a photograph wonderful and some of the best images can come out in black and white. This type of photo rarely fails to look extremely classy and interesting, adding a mysterious aspect to the atmosphere that it exudes. So, how can you ensure that you produce great looking black and white images? Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Because black and white photographs do not show different colours, but only varying shades of white, grey and black, you must pay close attention to the lighting. Choose to place your subject in front of a contrasting background, for example a dark subject on a white background, or the other way around. This will make sure that when you look at the photograph, briefly after playing a game of partypoker or for a longer period of time while really studying it, the subject will really stand out well.
If an object has a good and varied texture, then black and white photography will suit it well. Shadows and highlights are emphasised under these conditions and any differences in the surface will therefore stand out.
Get to know your light source, whether it is natural sunlight or artificial flash. This will help you to decide which angle you should take the photograph from, in order to maximise the disparities in shading over the whole of the image. Shape is another thing that comes across well in black and white photography. Choose subjects that are distinctive and interesting and remember that their colour will not usually have a significant effect on the overall image. It is the lighting of the photograph that will determine its success, so do a few practice runs and you will soon get the hang of it.