Today on The Slanted Lens we are out in the San Fernando Valley discussing how to shoot in black and white. We will be looking at how to create contrast and how to troubleshoot some of the problems we face when we shoot in black and white, so check it out!
Creating Contrast in Black and White
When you shoot in black and white, it’s all about contrast. Because you obviously don’t have color, you can’t use color for contrast. Instead you have to use light to create the contrast necessary for a good shot. So in the shoot for this lesson, we’re using highlights and shadows to give us some depth and contrast.
Solving Contrast Problems
For example, I had an actor in the corner of my shot with a white vest on. That white, combined with the sunlight, was just way too bright and was blowing him out of the shot. In order to fix that problem, we have to find a way to create more contrast. What we ended up doing in this instance was adding a black flag as a negative fill right behind him. The flag managed to take away some of the light that hit him from behind and gave us just a bit more contrast
Whenever I know that I am going to shoot in black and white I change my camera to the B&W setting as well. This gives me the ability to see the black and white on the JPEG, but when I go to RAW, I have all the information for the shot. If you really want, you can shoot in color settings, but if the goal is black and white, I want to look at it in black and white. This makes the entire process easier because I can see exactly what I am shooting.
So there you have it- some simple tips to try if you ever need to do a B&W shoot.
Next time you are free, try taking some shots in black and white and post it to my Facebook group! I’d love to see what you come up with!
Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!