Black and white photography relies on the tonal quality of the colors in the scene. The way the photographer “sees” the image changes. Without the reliance on color, the photograph relies on whites, blacks, and gray tones.
The human eye sees about 16 million colors. To create a successful black and white photograph, those colors need to be translated into their tonal quality. This is dependent on camera settings, and post production processes.
Traditional black and white was done with black and white film. The process of exposure and film choice dictated the end photograph. Modern digital cameras work differently. The camera’s photo sensor sees light and filters colors. Black and white settings on the camera can produce beautiful photographs, though it will depend on the camera’s programming.
The contrast between light and dark, along with the mid-tones, create the black and white image. The settings for black and white are in picture style, filters, or color (tone) menus of the digital camera. In many cameras, the photographer can set the contrast, brightness, and other settings for the photograph.
The second way to create successful black and white photographs is in the post processing phase of modern photography. There are many different types of photo processing software and photo filters available. The photos in this blog were done in Adobe Photoshop.
Visualize ~ Create ~ Evoke
To learn more, I’ll be teaching Black & White photography on the amazing Oregon coast this June 2018. The Oregon Coast in Black & White, June 18th & 19th, 2018 at the Sitka Center for Arts & Ecology. For more information, click here.