I know I say this every single month...but how is it already October?!? I can't believe how fast this year has flown by. There are only 3 months left of creative challenges this year. If you haven't had a chance to try out all of the previous challenges, go here to see them.
Our October challenge is:
Black and White
I've been planning to do black and white for our October challenge all year, thinking it's a great month for the "spooky" and moodiness we can get with B&W! Now, I'm going to be really honest with you...I was never a huge fan of B&W. I avoided it like the plague because I always thought of it as being depressing. Well, that changed last year when I took a workshop and the whole focus for one week was B&W. Oh how disappointed I was at first, but as I shot more and more in B&W, I realized I loved some things about it! I still don't convert every picture in B&W, but I'm definitely more open to it!
Some of the benefits of converting an image to black and white are:
* The timeless feeling it brings--colored photographs haven't even been around 100 years yet. Using B&W means an image could've been taken yesterday or 50 years ago!
* It takes away distractions, like those annoying bright colors of kids toys, clothing and blankets! (Anyone else loathing the neon trend right now?)
* It can help the viewer focus on what you really want them to if you do it right! I find that light sculpting is so much easier in B&W! The image of my husband below had light on the entire staircase, but I made it look like it was a single beam.
* Textures are brought out more in B&W than they are in color.
As I'm no expert in B&W, I don't have a ton of info on B&W for you, but I do know a few things about it. For most of the month I'll be learning and pushing myself to use this more creatively!
My tips on using B&W:
1. Make sure you have contrast in your image. Contrast between light and dark, or between subject and background are important! Look for a dark background with a beam of light (or vice-versa), or a strong pattern or texture in the foreground.
2. Think about converting an image in B&W when you take it! Look at your scene and think "would this make a good B&W?" Some digital cameras and phones have the ability to take a picture in B&W. If yours does, and you've never tried B&W before, put that setting on, so that you can see your scene. In fact, I'd maybe even try this out for a day or two so you can train your mind in what to look for.
3. Make sure you look at your background! The simpler the background, the better a candidate for B&W. Busy backgrounds tend to look even busier when the color is taken out and you only see patterns and textures.
4. Expose for the highlights! This is something you should always do, but I find it's even more important in B&W photography as the details seem to get lost easier. It's especially important if you like a high contrast in your B&W images like I do!
Post processing plays a key role in black and white photography. Just like in color, there are many ways to edit a black and white image. High contrast, low contrast, moody, matte, cool, warm, grainy, etc. The possibilities are endless. And for mobile photography, remember there are hundreds of apps for phone images to create just as many kinds of B&W images with your phone pics.
I personally like a high contrast, moody edit when I do black and white. If you don't know what your B&W style is, I suggest taking a couple of images, editing it a few different ways, and seeing what you like best!
Below is an example of the possibilities. First image is SOOC, last image is the one I decided on. I experimented with different presets and edits to create different looks. (Full discloser: my final edit was edited in both LR and PS, the others only in LR for examples.)
To participate this month with us on Instagram, please use the tag: #2017creative_bnw. My team and I will be featuring our favorite images on the Creative Inspiration Community hub with the above tag!
If you're not on Instagram, we've started a Creative Inspiration Community page in FB so we can push our posts directly there. If you'd rather see posts there, find and follow the page here! We use it solely to push our posts from IG to FB, so there's not much interaction over there. It's basically set up so anyone not involved with IG will see what we share.
If you haven't joined the Facebook group yet, and would like to, go here. I am personally terrible at getting on FB, so it's up to you all to keep it going if you want. ;)
Thank you to all of you who have joined in with me on this challenge! I've learned so much this year, and I can't wait to keep creating with you!