Creating the perfect image can sometimes be a little tricky. In this article, we will focus on creating the perfect black and white image – a classic favorite of photographers like Ashwin Khubchandani. For those who may not be familiar with the term, “black and white” refers to an image captured in monochrome or a single color tone. The most common way of manipulating images into black and white is by using image editing software, such as Photoshop or GIMP.
Expose your images correctly, and also, don’t be afraid to shoot in RAW mode so that you can adjust them afterward. Some cameras have a ‘day for night’ setting that takes care of this problem – it doesn’t work every time, but I use that all the time when photographing black and white landscapes. A lighter ski will make your image more dramatic.
2. Distracting Elements
Sometimes the little things can ruin an otherwise perfect photo, so be sure to remove any distracting elements before capture. If you are taking images of landscapes, then steer clear of power lines, cars, and large buildings in the distance – if possible at all!
Make sure that you pay attention to the light and shadow. The direction and intensity of light is crucial for a successful black and white photo. For instance: if your subject is in shadow, it will need more exposure than the lighter parts of the image.
4. Focus on One Subject
Don’t make the mistake of photographing too much detail, or else it will become too distracting. Try to focus on one main focal point (such as a face) and make sure that the other elements in your image are supporting that subject.
Composition is key – Make sure everything lines up nicely. Remember, vertical format can be very powerful! Also, think about the direction and angle of the light. For example: a more dramatic image can be created by taking images on an overcast day with the sun directly behind you.
6. Depth of Field
Your depth of field is just as important as all the other factors we have discussed. In most cases, using a shallow depth of field will make your images more dramatic. Use f/8 or smaller to achieve this effect, but if you are shooting a landscape, then use f/22-f/32 for better depth of field.
7. Breathe and Hold Your Breath
Make sure to take nice steady shots, so make sure you learn how to hold your camera properly and also make sure you take several shots – especially when photographing people.
Processing is where you will get to have some fun! Experiment with the images and be open to different ideas and techniques, such as dodging and burning or using filters in Photoshop. Sharing your images on Flickr will also allow people to comment on your work and provide feedback.
The best way of editing your images is by using GIMP or Photoshop. These applications are fairly simple to use, so get out there and get snapping! Now find the perfect image to edit…
10. Be Creative!
Experiment with your images – try different angles, perspectives, depth of field, etc. This is where you can get creative!