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Top Photography Tips -Black and White Photography

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Black and white photography is an exciting way to enhance the raw emotion or striking beauty of a gorgeous landscape or energy-filled moment caught in time.

Taking stunning black and white photographs is an art form and requires time, practice and retraining your eye as well as being creative. Still there are a few top tips and tricks which help you get started.

Black and white photography tips for beginners

Here is the Drive South Africa’s Top Photography Tips for Beginner’s Guide to amazing black and white photography.

Learning to See in Shades of Grey

Learning to see in shades of grey; black and white photography tips
(Photo by Ryk Neethling)

Black and white is a completely different way of seeing the world and your ambition as a black and white photographer is to learn how to paint your world using shades and highlights.
Look for interesting and exciting shapes and shadows that accentuate the form of a subject and show it in a different light. You have to train your eye and mind to be able to see what a shot will look like in black and white before you take it using highlights and lowlights to emphasis your point. A great black and white photography tip is to look out for repetitive shapes, unique structuring and long leading lines that will draw the eye into your photo.

Contrast is King

Contrast is king; black and white photography tips
Photo by Tamzyn Degoumois

By removing the colour on a photograph you open up your eye to the fascinating textures, surfaces and harsh world of contrasts that surround you. Zooming in on interesting patterns and highlighting harsh contrasts brings attention to your subject and letting you show up the detail and intricacies that are otherwise lost in the world of colour.

Cloudy Days are a Photographer’s Treat

Clouds, black and white photography tips
Photo by Ankakay

Overcast and cloudy days are an idyllic setting for a black and white photography shoot. Looming clouds make a striking statement adding a certain mood whilst the soft light and background offers silky transitions between the foreground and background. Another top photography tip for beginners is to play around with your contrast whilst you are editing. Upping your contrast defines the edges of your subject more and makes it pop out from your background.

Shoot in Colour

shoot in colour, black and white photography tips
Photo by Neil Lawler

Don’t use the black and white preset on your camera when taking your photograph. You loose a lot of the complexity, contrast and information by shooting in black and white. Shooting in colour and editing for black and white will not only give you a richer and better image but will allow you to play around and be creative all to give you more control over the end result. A top photography tip for beginners is to change to the black and white preset to give you an idea of how your photograph will look and then change back over into colour before you shoot.

Take Tons of Photographs

Take tons of photographs, black and white photography
Photo by Tamzyn Degoumois

Most importantly, you have to go out and practice. Give your shutter finger a good workout and take plenty of photo’s and then take some more for good measure. Being able to spot the potential of stunning black and white photography shots takes time and a conscious effort. But with a little dedication, you will be able to produce fascinating snaps.

For more top photography tips for beginners visit our top photography tips for beginners part 1, top photography tips for beginners part 2, photography tips for beginners using flash.

Have you got any top photography tips for Black and White photography, post them and your photographs in our comments below or just let us know what you think.

Keep Discovering!

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