Why, when and how to shoot black and white photography for high impact photographs. Geff Bourke is a well-known speaker on this subject.
Black & white photography can add drama or take away distractions.
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Why Choose Black and White Photography
with Geffrard Bourke
“There’s something so beautiful about a black and white image
– the detailing, the tonality.”
Anything Looks Good in Black and White
- Street Photography – even at night!
- Macro and Close-ups
– Geff loves taking black and white images of flowers – white blossoms seem to glow.
– Color can really be a distraction, it pulls your eyes away from their face.
“When you photograph a person in color, you photograph their clothes. When you photograph a person in black and white, you photograph their soul.”
Tips for Black and White Success
– Color images are best when the light is right – early morning or evening.
– Black and white images can be taken at any time of day – even in the bright afternoon sun!
– Harsh light helps to bring out the contrast and tones of the landscape.
- Spot-meter on the brightest part of your subject.
– Make the subject stand out and be separate from the background.
- Shoot in RAW (color) to capture as much data as possible.
- Set Live-View to Black and White to help you learn to see without color.
- Bracket your images
– Stack them later in Photoshop, or choose the best exposure from the set.
– Choosing the lightest of the set creates a “high-key black and white”.
- Leave the white balance in Auto
– White balance really only affects color images.
– You can adjust the contrast of the image in post-processing.
- Look for contrasty scenes
– Examples: A white fence against a deep green
Bright birds or flowers against a dark
Architecture against a blue sky
- Look for interesting and detailed subjects without distracting backgrounds.
- Concentrate on composition – use leading lines.
- Look at the work of other photographers – LEARN from it and get INSPIRATION.
- Practice makes perfect – and helps develop your eye.
- Try to get it right as much as you can IN-CAMERA so you don’t send hours in post-processing.
- AFTER processing – step away for a day – don’t post or print it immediately.
– Look at it again – your perspective or mood may have changed. Tweak accordingly.
– Mood affects the way you see an image – work on it when you feel GOOD.
- Join a photo club and enter your images in competitions. Getting feedback helps you learn.
- Fuji XH1 system, Fuji Mirrorless and Medium-Format Film Camera
- Will occasionally use ND filters, but not Polarizing filters.
- Photoshop is his primary post-processing program.
– Started using Nik Silver FX, but has developed his own actions and pre-sets
What you need to learn for a solid photography education. Watch our free video:
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