And here’s Dan’s Top 5 Black & White Photography Tips:
1) Shoot in RAW
Photographing in RAW will ultimately give you so much more control over your black and white photography, and allow you to experiment with various post-processing techniques in Lightroom and / or Photoshop, for example.
2) Use Filters
For long exposure photography, a 10 stop filter is a must. These block out 10 stops of light, forcing the shutter open for much longer to achieve a desirable exposure and to flatter water and soften clouds (as in my Dovercourt Lighthouse photo).
To balance the sky and foreground, you can also use gradient filters. I use both soft and hard gradient filters depending on the subject I’m photographing. If you don’t have filters, you can always use the gradient filter tool in Lightroom (apologies to purists out there…!)
3) Don’t Be Afraid Of Harsh Light
Some people avoid venturing out with their camera when the sun is blazing, but sunny weather produces excellent contrast, lines and textures for black and white architectural photography (harsh light isn’t so good for portraits unfortunately, whether it’s colour or black and white…!)
4) Lines, Shadows, Shapes and Texture
Colour can sometimes be a distraction in a photograph, so eliminating it allows you to look for these strong compositional elements. Look for leading lines, shadows, curves, contrast etc.
5) Check the Weather / Sunset
Always check the forecast if venturing out far and wide – as mentioned above, clouds are recommended for long exposures. Nothing worse than arriving at the coast after a three hour journey to be greeted with a cloudless sky (I speak from bitter experience!) I also use LightTrac, an Android app which shows the direction of the sun at different times of the day.
My name’s Dan Biggins, and I’m a freelance web developer, a part-time wedding photographer and a keen black and white photographer! I bought my first camera 8 years ago and have been hopelessly addicted to photography ever since…
B&W website: http://www.shadowsandlight.photography