Shooting any subject or scene in black and white can be a surefire way to make photographs appear more emotive and dramatic. While some appreciate the sense of nostalgia brought by black and white photography, others tend to love the minimalist beauty of such photographs. Monochrome images bid goodbye to the distraction of colors, and allow people to fully focus on the most important parts of the image. There are many photographers, including Bruce Weber, who prefer monochrome photographs to color ones. No matter whether one likes to take classic black and white images or dramatic sepias, they are sure to find an audience who loves to view them.
In addition to the obvious absence of color, what sets monochrome images apart is the resulting viewing behavior. It makes viewers observe distinguished amounts of light, rather than the typical difference in colors. Many interesting monochrome photographs make use of tonal contrast for the purpose of telling a story or representing a subject and an idea. It showcases a surreal view of the world, which makes it quite exciting to look at.
Here are a few factors that can help people to capture amazing monochrome photographs:
- Shoot in RAW: Shooting RAW files is one of the best ways to capture high-quality images, no matter whether they are monochrome or colored. Shooting in RAW helps retain and preserve the full color information of the image, which otherwise gets compressed when the photographers shoot in JPEG. A greater number of pixels provides the photographers more ease and flexibility, when it is ultimately time for them to post-process and edit their shots.
- Look for Contrast: As the best monochrome images tend to be largely about tonal contrast, one has to train themselves to look for contrasting tones around them, when trying to find appropriate subjects or scenes to capture. While it might be challenging for amateurs to see” how a colored scene will look in sepia or grayscale, they can effectively evaluate potential subject matter from the frame by paying proper attention to highlights, lowlights, lines and shapes.
- Find or create a wider range of midtones: While highlights and shadows or blacks and whites do make interesting monochrome images, they also might look dull when some areas do not have grays. Having a wider dynamic range or middle tone can be helpful in adding more depth and dimension to a grayscale or sepia photo. This can be done with the usage of a light source like an external flash, which adds shadows and highlights over other parts of the photograph.
Much like any other photography style, one needs to thoughtfully compose and frame their images when clicking monochrome photos, in order to grab and hold the attention of the viewers. Checking out the works of Bruce Weber and other photographers fond of monochrome can be a good idea to gain inspiration when it comes to photography composition. He has taken a number of photos of his dogs in monochrome. Bruce loves to take photos of his furry friends, both professional and personal reasons. He has been celebrating the joyous connection between humans and dogs through this work for years.