B&W tips or suggestions?
Hey, im fairly new to the forum.
I wondered if any veterans out there could give me any tips or tricks etc when shooting in Black and White.
At the moment i only have a basic setup consisting of...
35mm SLR with 50mm lens (i do have an 28-80mm lens, but the aperture setting doesnt work at all!!)
Olympus T20 flash
I've bought 2 rolls of Ilford HP5 400 film, are there any techniques i need to bear in mind to get the most out of my shots.
Sorry if this sounds stupid at all, but i've only really used colour film before (Fuji Superia)... I'm Looking to broaden my skills :)
First, go out an shoot film. The more the better. Become one with the camera and its features.
1) Then you can learn about opening the lens if the scene is mostly light and closing down the lens if the scene is mostly dark - yes, it sound counter intuitive.
2) You could spend time learning various forms of the Zone System and then dedicate you life to endless testing.
3) You could avoid #2 by taking a light reading of what you want middle gray to be.
Or some form of the above.
I recommend that you just shoot film and enjoy the camera, keeping things simple. Later, as you come to various situations or learn more from this website, feel free to ask questions.
Remember, the only silly questions are the ones that do not get asked. We have all been where you are, so we will understand and help.
Im new to it as well and i was wondering someone could explain to me how to post an article or at least ask a general question to the forum.
One really good rule for shooting black and white is the rule of thirds. Which is when you break up your picture in your head into a tic tac toe grid across your viewer and put the subjects of your picture into the boxes in the tic tac toe grid. Also dont take pictures of red stuff. The camera wont pick it up very well.
two words: incident meter
Thanks for the great reply Sirius and BenP, will take that on board, im trying to get some time to shoot as often as possible.
2F/2F - Is an incident meter simmilar to a light meter?
softshock - Can you explain a bit more?? sorry, told you i was a n00b lol
One important difference from shooting color is that scenes that look interesting in color may not be so in black and white (or the other way around, as well). We are used to judging scenes by color contrasts, whereas the BW film is only going to see shades of grey. Try to look for interplay of light and shadows - makes much more interesting BW photos.
Look for interesting textures (e.g., weathered wood, rocks).
Also look for interesting patterns (e.g., marks on the sand at a beach showing ripples due to waves - may look dull in color, but can be very nice in BW).
You may have already realized - several photos in your flickr album would look nice in BW (dare I say, better) : Stanecastle Keep, Broken Gate, Tree Trunk with Moss, Logs.
With black & white, you are looking for textures, lines, and contrast between elements in the scene. Analyze the scene before you shoot. If the main thing that attracts you is something bright colored, shot might not work. If the main that that attracts you are the lines & shapes, b&w probably will work. Buy three filters: green, orange, blue, red. Hold on a minute. Maybe that was four filters. Anyway, buy the filters and learn what effect each has on what color. Example. Where I am, the ground is covered with white snow, and today the sky is blue. If I were to shoot b&w with a red #29 filter, the ground would stay white and the sky would turn black. That can be pretty cool.
Kent in SD
Thanks for the information karthik, i understand what you mean.
Thanks for taking the time to look at my album :) those were my first pictures taken with an SLR camera. I did wonder of some would look good in B&W. The Broken gate is one of my favourites :) i think i got the DOF just right