UPDATE: Learn more about Black and White Photography with our new Essential Guide to Black and White Photography.
What Subjects are Good for Black And White Photography?
- Start with raw, natural materials, like rocks, metal to give you an understanding of form and texture.
- Pay close attention to form, shading, pattern and tone.
- Take note of how the contrast creates shapes, such as lines. These lines then create a feeling by either staying straight or bending or going away from view.
- Feel the impact of the shapes make a pattern.
- See how the texture of the subject creates the feeling and how shape with this texture gives the subject a new presence on your photo.
- Look at the different shades of light work in with each other, and the relationship they have with each other, some against, some with, and how the dark aspects of light can work to enhance the photos feel.
There are a lot of photographers that prefer black and white because the world changes when it is in black and white. If you really want to define a subject’s form, then switching to black and white to take that photo will emphasize all the details you miss in colour. When there is a distinct contrast, with dark shades and bright light you’ll be able to see things you didn’t really see before.
Black and white is particularly good if you like working with abstract. The black and white medium lends itself to abstract forms because it removes colour and in doing so shows the graphic elements of the photograph. This then gives us the opportunity to explore the subject a lot more closely and in depth.