When I think of black and white photography, I envision a photograph that was originally taken by using the black and white setting on my camera, or originally taken in color and processed by using a black and white filter. Either way, I consider light, contrast, subject, and composition to ensure a pleasing outcome as not all scenes lend themselves to black and white conversions. Most good black and white photos have varying shades of gray on a spectrum between black and white. As a general rule, but not always, the most interesting part of the photo will be where the contrast is greatest.
I took the photo above in New York City a few years ago. The image, which was applied to the side of a building like wallpaper simulating a trumpe-l’oeil, had some color; mostly faded shades of pink. You can tell it must have been there for a while, because the paper is peeling. The juxtaposition of the worn and tattered paper, to the sweetness of the image is what first caught my attention. The artist signature was not visible, and my internet search was unsuccessful, so I took the liberty of giving this piece a name – caged beauty. What would you name it?
I have included the following image, which is technically not a black and white, or a color pop, simply because I like it. If you have visited Montmartre in Paris, you have likely encountered the hordes of artists vying to create your likeness in charcoal. After studying a few artists, my daughter and I chose the one who eventually drew this portrait because of his attention to eyes. I watched quietly as the image came to life on canvas, observing his quick, precise movements; marveling at his talent as he captured the windows to her soul perfectly. Youth and beauty juxtaposed against his weathered, charcoal stained hand compelled me to take this photo. Although I love the finished portrait, this is the image that tells the story.
The flower below is a simple black and white conversion created in my Iphone. I took the photo in color, with my Lumix GX7 and transferred it to my phone to make the basic edit. It is a quick and easy way to see if I want to take it further with Photoshop or Nik. Personally, I like the color better, so I won’t be converting it.
Black and white images don’t have to be manufactured, and often happen quite naturally. In the four images below, the subject is white, and the background is black/gray. These are literally black and white images. I used Photoshop, and Snapseed (for the quill) to darken the background, brighten the white, and enhance texture within all four images. In three of the four, I enhanced the additional colors to add interest without stealing the show.
This post is linked to Second Wind Leisure Perspective – Sunday Stills Photo Challenge. Terri’s theme this week is Black and White. Anyone can participate, just go over to Terri’s blog and read the rules. While you are there, check out how others have interpreted the theme.
I am also linking up with Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share, where people from all walks of life share their stories, passions, and everyday lives. This week she shares her thoughts on coping with the past year.