lundi 19 novembre 2018

Understanding The Basic Elements In Minimalist Black And White Photography

By Linda Harris

There is something especially dramatic and compelling about a photo that has to rely on tone, shape, texture, contrast, and shadow rather than vibrant color design. You may have poured over prints by Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz and wondered how they managed to capture such amazing, and deceptively simple, images. Minimalist black and white photography is something anyone can try, but only a few manage to master the techniques necessary to make it great.

If you're serious about trying this, you will have to learn to ignore color. You teach yourself this in a couple of ways. There are monochrome viewing filters you can buy for your camera. You can also go out and buy some inexpensive sunglasses that have dark gray lenses. Monochrome will work with almost any subject matter that interests you, people, cityscapes, landscapes, or still lifes.

Most people who teach photography, and other art courses, put a big emphasis on composition. Composition is certainly an important element, but that is true of both color and monochrome. The difference is that some compositions that work beautifully in color won't work at all in black and white. You have to learn how to judge the elements of composition to make your monochrome photos distinctive.

One of the foundation stones of good monochrome picture taking is tone. It is not exactly the same as contrast, but similar. When you shoot a cityscape that has lots of vibrant color for example, the vibrancy of those colors may not translate when the same scene is shot in monochrome. They may just become a mass of different grays. You can alter the tone with the use of filters. You can also change the lighting. If you change the light, you'll create instant shadows and highlights.

Shadows are something you must become aware of. These are powerful tools for those making minimalist art. If your shadows are strong, you have a chance of taking a good photo. Shadows are intriguing to people. It's important to understand that a shadow isn't a black void. It can, and often should, be full of shadows that observers may or may not be able to completely make out.

Shape may be part of shadows, but it is also about contrast. Shapes can be the defining element in your photos. When you think about it, shape is the way the human brain defines what it knows about its surroundings. We recognize objects in part by the way they are shaped. When you are working in monochrome, it's necessary to look for shapes, and the way they work with tone and contrast.

Texture is part of light and shadow. It can be tricky. If you eliminate it in an effort to get a stark effect, you will have something more abstract than if you had included it. You can emphasis texture by lowering the level of the light source. Light creates shadows and highlights that will reveal the texture in your subject.

Eliminating color can be risky. Color serves as a crutch sometimes for those unsure of their technique. Artistry is more readily revealed when you strip away the color.

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