Lighting Techniques For Black & White Photography


Black-and-white photography lighting techniques include creating a nice gray-scale range to avoid stark whites and pitch blacks, but an enhanced contrast can create a more artistic feel. Use lighting to dictate the mood of a black-and-white photograph with information from a professional art and commercial photographer in this free video on photography.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Rebecca Guenther with and I'm going to talk to you about some lighting techniques for black and white photography. Now when you're shooting black and white, it's very important that your lighting is going to take into account the fact that your final image is in fact going to be solely grayscale. Because of that you need to make sure that your whites or your lighter colors, you know possibly even yellow, aren't going too bright. You want to make sure that any whites are not - I mean really blown out white for instance if you're photographing a white shirt you want to make sure that the creases are just a little bit darker than white. You want to make sure that there is a range, a tonal range in your whites. Same thing with your blacks, you don't ever want your blacks to be just pitch black black unless that's the effect you're going for, you want to make sure you have a nice range between both the black and the white. However, it should be noted you can always experiment with it, have fun. Maybe make your whites go super duper white and keep your blacks jet black, then you know you have a very high contrast image that might not be as realistic but would definitely convey a certain emotion. So experiment with your lighting, try different things, see what works best for you and what effect do you want to get, and then just go for it. So that's just a little bit about black and white lighting techniques.


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