You can see things in an entirely new perspective when you shoot in black and white.
What I’ve found is a mixture of things. The first, and most common times I decide to shoot in black and white, is when I simply don’t like the colors. There, I said it. We’ve all been in a position where the subject is perfect, but the colors may not be to your liking and not something you want to try and save in post-production.
Shooting in this mode isn’t sacrificing quality.
In fact, I believe it challenges you to find more details to include in your shots. In the image above, I was at a car show and was simply exploring. There was a ton of foot traffic and a sun that shined bright with no cloud in sight. So rather than manipulating the settings on my camera to account for the brightness, I decided to shoot with the purpose of capturing things in black and white. I found myself continuously looking for things with a lot of contrasts.
Don’t be scared to shoot in black and white.
Don’t misinterpret that as ‘salvaging’ bad shots in black and white. To practice this, I’d recommend shooting in color and in post-production, make your favorite image black and white. I guarantee it will give an entirely different feel. Black and white photography can be more intimate than colored shots. It forces you to pay attention to the subject(s) rather than eye-catching colors.
Take this shot for example:
For some odd reason, I enjoy encountering other photographers while I’m shooting. I like to observe their technique, setup and subjects. If I get a chance to photograph another photographer, I do it. For me, this shot is about passion. It is a lone man shooting the outside of the Smithsonian but was distracted by something happening across the street. At this moment, he was probably thinking ” I wish I had my camera pointed in the other direction”. Or so that’s what I imagine he would be thinking. I call these moments near misses. I have many of these. I can’t count the amount of moments where there was a perfect moment that I simply could not capture, but I was able to get this. Black and white was key in focusing on the things I felt mattered.
Until next time.