The world looks beautiful and timeless in the shades of grey. So is the case with portraits. If you want to create timeless portraits of friends and family, then make sure they are black and white. We bring to you some black and white portrait photography tips to help you get those mesmerizing portraits. You probably might have researched for some helpful advise on how to click better portraits. Look no further, here are some helpful portrait photography tips that will enhance your skills and you'll become a better photographer.
Black and white portrait photographs can be timeless masterpieces if done well. However, there are several aspects that you need to keep in mind to get such a portrait. Most of it will come with experience, but here are some portrait photography tips to help you get started. Learn how to shoot black and white photographs with the simple and easy to follow portrait photography tips listed below.
Portrait Photography Tips To Get Started With Black and White Portraits
Lines and shadows
The shapes and lines of subjects and objects stand out more starkly in black and white portrait photographs than in color. Pay attention to the lines and shadows around your subject when you select the background for your portrait. This can make or break a black and white portrait photograph.
Use contrast and different shades of gray
Black and white photographs are a combination of some black, some white, and a whole range of shades in between. Make sure your portrait has a bit of pure black, a bit of pure white and various shades of gray. It is the interplay of these shades in a picture that makes a black and white photograph outstanding. If there are not enough shades of gray, or if there is not enough pure black or pure white, your portrait will appear dull.
You can add a certain magic to black and white portrait photographs with long exposure times. While shooting in daytime you would need to use filters for this, while for night portrait photography it would depend on the amount of ambient light around. Long exposure will give you surreal portraits, especially if shooting a moving subject or any motion the background of your subject, like passing clouds, moving vehicles, etc. Preferably use a tripod for long exposure shots to avoid camera movement.
Shoot in RAW
If your camera has the option, shoot black and white photographs in RAW. This format will allow you make all the required changes in post-processing ensuring that you get the exact look and effect you want. When shooting in RAW, all details in the scene are captured by the camera, which means that in case you do not like your portrait photograph in black and white, you can turn it back to a color portrait too.
Good post-processing can raise a good black and white portrait to a great one or make an average portrait look quite nice. You can use Photoshop or Lightroom while post-processing, though Lightroom works a lot better for black and white photographs. You can also use the Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin to get absolutely stunning and professional-looking black and white photographs.