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Make Your Photography Special With Black & White Basics

One of the least explored creative uses of the digital camera is black and white photography. Taking time to practice seeing the promise of this technique will reward you with some out-of-the-ordinary additions to your portfolio.

The chief difficulty newbie photographers have when trying out black and white photography is imagining a picture with grayscale in mind. Color tone, or contrast, has a more significant impact, since the ordinary color distinctions are removed from consideration. Training yourself to detect color intensity isnt easy. To help expedite this process, use the Black & White setting on the camera. Although there is no real advantage to this from the imaging standpoint, since even free photo editors admirably convert images to grayscale and sepia monotones, by using the camera display you can actually see the photo as it will be. This helps in indentifying issues with color tones blending together, unwanted shadowing, and other problems that wouldnt be visible in color. When you preview in this manner you help train your eye, and soon you will discern the distinctions even without the camera.

With the removal of color, the photographer must look at his prospective image with new eyes: black and white gives new prominence to shadows and linear pattern. Look for lines and shapes that define the images photos that would be quite ordinary in color take on drama in monotones. The ratio of darks to lights (contrast) affects your shot more radically as well. Filling an image with soft light can create an otherworldly look. Look to use dark area to create a moody photograph. Experiment with mood it can often be more easily expressed with the simplicity of black and white.

Black and white portrait photography can produce remarkable results. The loss of color can mean the loss of many probable flaws blemishes, flushes, red noses and the like can fade away, leaving a more flattering shot than one closer to the original subject. Careful lighting can either emphasize features like wrinkles, or reduce them. Choose the lighting to try to show what you want to express. Generally speaking, it is best to fill the frame with your subject, unless there is something in the background that is important to the story you are telling about him. Remember, simple images are often the strongest.

Photos of scenery can also be more dramatic in black and white. A common problem in photographing distant points is haze that washes out the colors. This is no difficulty in black and white! Bring out natures drama by using contrast rather than color. Anyone who has doubts about nature photography in black and white need only look at Ansel Adams work.

Whether youve attempted monotone photography before and havent been delighted, or its a new experience for you, you can learn to take stunning photographs this way. The basic elements of good photography are the same composition, contrast, depth of field, focus, lighting, exposure, etc. You just need to develop an eye to see slightly differently contrast, lighting and exposure have more impact on the final image, and need to be considered more fully. However, with some practice (and with digital film there is no need to be careful about the number of pictures you shoot), someday you may find your favorite photographs to be in black and white.

To read more about digital photography visit, where you can find tons of ideas for improving your photos.

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