Why its still important to shoot in black and white…….

roger-williams-parkI just read an article on a photographer who said its time to stop shooting in black and white, he claimed we don’t see the world in black and white and it was something only done in the past due to limitations at the time and its time to move on. Im going to give you a number of reasons why its still critical to shoot black and white from time to time and how it can help nurture your photographic eye.

We shoot differently when choosing black and white.Most photographers ask when should a photograph be converted to black and white.Rarely is the discussion around  why a photo should be black and white from the outset.While the “when” and “why”are  related, shooting in color and THEN wondering whether to convert the image employs a very different mindset from setting out and seeing the world in black and white, and then working within those confines.Parameters of a world without color forces you to see things differently, to stretch and work out your photographic eye muscles, and that in turn pushes you creatively.

1..COLOR NO LONGER DISTRACTS…..Clothing,color temperature differences in ambient light sources, cars and colorful backgrounds distractions have stopped being an issue…I still focus on my backgrounds, rather than a distracting color.Black and white allows you to begin to think about these key elements{lighting, composition,elements in and out of frame]that you might otherwise not  focus on as much when you’re thinking about making colors work together.

2..YOULL SEE LIGHT DIFFERENTLY….What you lose from not being able to capture golden hour light,youll gain back in focusing more on direction, quantity and quality of light around you.

Here are 2 photos …one color, the other black and white…which one tells more of a story?

3..THE TIMELESS/CLASSIC QUALITY FROM BLACK AND WHITE…one reason people want to shoot in black and white is because it lends a certain timeless quality to the images.This is because we still think of black and white as being a throwback to the photographic past.

These 2 photos were taken at the Valley Forge National Park,across from the George Washington Chapel…..when you think of Valley Forge,George Washington…you think of history…..way back in time…..which one of these photos tells that story?

4..IT HIGHLIGHTS SHAPE,FORM AND PATTERN IN THE IMAGE…

Here is one I took of a bicycle rack….does the black and white stand out?

I am not saying you should only shoot black and white….but I’m beginning to love black and white more and more everyday…..when I’m going to shoot..I look at the subject in black and white,I see in black and white…I think of the composition, the light source…everything black and white, and the end result,I love! I still shoot in color and love playing with it, but I certainly enjoy the challenge and creative push from shooting for Black and White.I hope you enjoyed this Blog…go out tomorrow and look at the world in black and white….you will be amazed at what it does for your photography” EYE”.

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