BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Using Your Camera’s Features: Black-and-White Photography

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Jeremy W. Schneider)

Black-and-white images add a classier feel to your images. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

A friend of mine who owns a camera shop once told me that most digital camera owners use less than three functions on their camera. If that’s true, then it’s a terrible waste of money and technology.

Today’s digital cameras – even those on the low-end of the cost spectrum – offer various creative functions that allow so much creative freedom over the photography process. You have the ability to make images that really have a “wow” value if you’re willing to take the camera off the automatic setting and learn some of the features that are available

One of the easiest camera settings to use is the black and white feature. So easy, in fact, for most cameras it’s simply scrolling down the features menu and selecting “black-and-white.” But I would bet a dollar-to-a-donut that all the images you’re taking are in color.

Why Black-and-White?
Black-and-white images are great because they help reduce distractions that are so common in color images. Black-and-white photographs also give a photograph more feeling and helps create a sense of drama. Finally, black-and-white can also be used to create a sense of tension, urgency and even focus.

Jeremy W. Schneider)

Black-and-white images also add a sense of drama and mystery to what would be an ordinary photo. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

OK, How do I do It?
It’s easy to explore black-and-white photography with your digital camera. Simply go to the menu setting, select black-and-white and voila!
Now comes the fun part – go out and try different photos in black-and-white. Portraits are a great way to start. Recruit a subject and start your photo session. Shoot the images in the black-and-white setting and see how much better your images look. Also, get your subject to try different poses and different facial expressions. Try to create urgency, intensity and other emotions. Then, take the images in color. I think you’ll find that your black-and-white work will outshine most of your color photographs and give your images a more sophisticated, classier and dramatic feel.

Written by jeremyparce

February 15, 2009 at 2:18 am

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