Black and white photos can often look more captivating and stunning than their color equivalent. Hence, Bruce Weber Photographer, and many others share a deep love for black and white images. Color can at times act as a distraction in an image. Removing colors from it can actually aid in re-focusing the attention of the viewer on the intended subject.
Bruce Weber Photographer marks a few points that must be considered when planning the lighting set-up for black and white photos
Black and white photography can be immensely beautiful. After all, it makes use of essential elements of early cinema, like texture, shadow, and intensity. However, a photographer cannot head out for a black and white shoot while having the same lighting approach they use for color photography. They need to come up with a different game plan for this style.
Here are a few factors related to lighting one needs to remember for black and white photography:
- Forget about color temperature: When not shooting in color, pondering over color temperature is not needed. The color temperature of fixtures and bulbs won’t register in a black and white shoot.
- Focus on light quality: Before anything else, it is crucial to understand what exactly light quality is. Light quality takes into account how the light affects and interacts with the subject and the surroundings.. When shooting in black and white, selecting the right light quality becomes imperative to visual storytelling.
- Use shadows to create texture: Color is not present in black and white images to break up the visuals and make things look interesting. The use of shadows, hence, becomes vital in this situation. Shadows can add much needed depth and texture to the image. Objects in the frame should be arranged in such a way that the shadows highlight their most interesting aspect. An intriguing composition of different shapes can help cast captivating shadows.
- Intensity is the magnifying glass: When shooting in color, the hues tell the visuals where to look at. Their eyes automatically get attracted to the bright red doorknob or an emerald green dress. This option is not available in black and white photography. Hence, in this situation, light intensity must be used smartly to draw the attention of the viewer to the important areas of the frame. Their eyes would ideally get attracted to the brightest part of the frame.
Good lighting is the key to taking impactful black and white photographs. After all, it affects all the important elements of this photography style, including texture, pattern, contrast, and shape. When planning the lighting setup, one needs to consider how it shall influence all these elements. Side lighting usually manages to produce the most dramatic black and white images. It picks out the edges of shapes. This lighting style also increases contrast by adding highlights. Shadows created with side lighting are ideal for adding interest to the frame, while simultaneously enhancing textures and patterns. Going through the works of Bruce Weber Photographer can help people to gain a better understanding of how to properly use lighting in black and white photography.