In an interesting move to adopt older styles of photography, more and more people are today showing preference for black and white photographs as opposed to coloured photos. One of the main reasons for is the artistic and timeless elegance that black and white photos often exude. Black and white photography has a way of bringing out the emotions of the photos subject in a way that is difficult to achieve with coloured photos.
Probably because of the fewer colours and shades, black and white photographs often look clearer than coloured photographs. The fact that black and white photos are rare when compared to coloured ones also makes them stand out. This has been one of the reasons that black and white photographs are finding their way into important occasions such as weddings.
But simply taking black and white photographs does not necessarily guarantee that end result will be as per expectations. There are 5 fundamental principles that one must be adhere to when taking such pictures: that is, texture, shape and form, contrast, light and pattern. In fact, the way these principles are applied is what forms the major distinction between black and white photography, and coloured photography.
Shape and Form It is important for the photographer to always bear in mind the shape and form of the photo’s subject. Remember that colour easily enables anyone looking at the photo notice different shapes and forms even if the objects are arranged in a somewhat hap hazard manner. With black and white photographs, you have to take a more deliberate approach. So when taking the photo, ensure you arrange all objects that are meant to form the focus and background of the photo in a way that creates an attractive and interesting theme. Contrast Depth is one of the most important aspects of a quality photograph. Depth in a black and white photograph is achieved by making the most use of different shades and tones of black, white and grey. One way to do this as a photographer is to play around with the lighter and darker objects and surfaces of the photo. For instance, a lighter object may be placed in front of a dark surface to bring out the contrast. This breathes life into the photograph.
Pattern Since you do not have a wide range of colours to work with when taking black and white photos, you have to make maximum use of design patterns on the objects you are photographing. Good patterns can increase the intensity of the photo thus making it more interesting and attractive. Texture Due to the lower number of colours and shades, it is not as easy for someone to pick out the focus of a black and white photograph as it is for a coloured photo. This is where texture is important. It is the contrasting textures of different objects and surfaces on the photograph that will allow the person looking at the photo to distinguish which object is the primary focus of the photo.
Light If contrast is important, then light is critical in black and white photography. This is because the proper application of light can make the difference in how well the objective of the four earlier discussed principles is realized. The position of the light and shade must clearly bring out depth, contrast, pattern and texture. Light when correctly used brings clarity to the edges of the object(s) being photographed.