Black and white or monochromatic photography is most often used by professionals to produce artistic, striking and imaginative results. Rather than color, monochromatic or grayscale photography uses all the gradations of black, white and gray. Though less realistic than color photography, black and white photographs can be more interpretive, abstract and subtle. Here are some important points to keep in mind while taking black and white shots.
1. Imagine the scene in black and white
If your picture is black & white from the time it is conceived, it will give better results. Learn to visualize a scene devoid of color. It can be difficult to do in the beginning, but with some practice you can develop an eye for this type of visualization.
2. Use raw image files
Most cameras but the basic point and shoot will let you capture raw images (aka digital negatives). These are the minimally processed images from the digital sensor of your camera. Experts recommend using these for B&W photos because they let you make more precise adjustments to the image.
3. Use natural atmospheres
Rainy or overcast days are great for taking black and white shots. They will naturally create a certain mood that results in great pictures.
4. Look for contrast and drama
Gaudy colors can translate into high contrast black and white pictures. They can create a picture with a dramatically wide range of grays and create a image that is very different and artistically representative of the original scene.
5. Go for portrait shots
You can get really artistic looking black and white shots of close up faces and other portrait shots. Quite simply, the human face can look marvelously artistic in gray scale; the same can apply to other close ups of animals and so on.
6. Concentrate on light and shade
You can use a scene that already has a lot of light and shade or you can create interesting shadows using an off camera flash (or several).
7. Use tints
You can create different impressions by using different tints in your photo editing software. For instance using the sepia tint evokes the antique look.
8. Use filters
Play around and experiment with the different filters in your camera as well as your photo editing software to get unusual results.
9. Increase exposure
Many experts recommend increasing the exposure value of a photo to get interesting black and white results.
10. Practice and experiment
Practice visualizing a scene in black and white, practice by taking plenty of photos, experiment with angles and get fully acquainted with your photo editing software to get the best results.
Thanks so much for your great list of tips for taking better black and white shots. It will really add to my knowledge.