Flowers in Black and White

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echinacea_2_by_annette_schreiber

There is no end to the number of beautiful flowers out there ready to be photographed. Whether it’s a single bud, a single flower, a bouquet, a plant, a bush, or a blossoming tree, flowers are wonderful subjects to photograph. They’re not temperamental, they generally stay where you put them (or where they grow), they are a great subject to experiment with, and they come in an array of vibrant colors.

 

Now, what if you decide to photograph them in black and white?

 

It is often believed that good photos are ones with beautiful colors. However, there are other forms of photography such as black and white, monochromatic, infrared etc.There is much more than simple shining colors in pictures. Photography is the recording of light regardless of color and outcome. Black and white has been popular since the early days where cameras would only take these images and were unable to interpret colors.

purity and innocence          tulip_4_by_annette_schreiber

Black and White Photography focuses on the details and composition of the object or scenery. Vibrant colors often overshadow the beautiful simplicity of the main subject.

 

You need to understand the incidence and the direction of the light. Pay close attention to how the light hits the subject and reflects off the details, the ups and downs and the curvature in the subject’s surface.

 

Is it coming from a primary light source such as the sun or an artificial flash? Is the light coming from a reflected source such as off a wall or a reflector?

 

Texture in the subject’s surface can define the realism in the photo while smooth or blurred out details produce mythic or ideal images.

Images with a wide range of tonal values tend to work well for black and white imagery. Most black and white images are most successful when there are definite blacks and whites–that is, the tones in the photo range all the way from the blackest black to the whitest white with lots of varying gray tones in between.

dahlia in full bloom          Water droplet inside of a lily.

Black and white images appear to be more timeless than color images.

Many Fine Art Photographers prefer black and white images for their tendency to distance the subject matter from reality.

 

Humans see the world in color, and a rendition of the world in monochrome makes us pause and look closely.

white lily in full bloom

Try different styles. Photograph in color and than convert to black and white and observe what it does to the photograph. Do you like the simplicity of the gray tones?

hibiscus_by_annette_schreiber         Echinacea in full bloom

Enjoy the way to create a new artwork!

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