12 Tips for Taking Great Black and White Photos like Bruce Weber
When it comes to shooting black and white photographs, many people think there’s a certain “look” you have to achieve. But photographer Bruce Weber is living proof that thinking this way is incorrect. With his iconic images of Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, and Andy Warhol (to name a few), he has created an impressive body of work over the years in black and white.
Today we will be giving tips on taking iconic black and white photos in the style of the great Bruce Weber
1) Shoot in RAW
When shooting black and white photos, it’s important to capture as much detail as possible. This is why you should always shoot in RAW mode, as this gives you the most flexibility when post-processing your images.
2) Use filters sparingly
Some photographers use filters to give their black and white photos a certain “look.” But Bruce Weber prefers to keep things simple and only uses filters when absolutely necessary.
3) Pay attention to the light
The quality of light is extremely important in black and white photography. Try to shoot during the Golden Hour, or find ways to create interesting shadows.
4) Experiment with contrast
Contrast is a key element in black and white photography. While the “classic” look is to have high contrast, this isn’t always the case. Experiment with altering the contrast of your images in post-processing, as this will result in various looks.
5) Shoot with a shallow depth of field
Shooting black and white photos with a shallow depth of field can result in clean, classic images. However, if you have a DSLR camera with a “low-pass” filter, it is best to turn this feature off.
6) Use an off-camera flash
While shooting with natural light is preferred, using an off-camera flash can result in some really cool images. Experiment with different effects that can be achieved by using flash modifiers.
7) Shoot in black and white mode
While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s still worth mentioning. By shooting in black and white mode, you’ll be able to see how the scene will look in black and white before taking the picture.
8) Create a strong composition
Composition is extremely important in black and white photography. Pay attention to the way your frame is laid out, and make sure there are no distractions in the background (unless that’s what you’re going for).
9) Use contrast to draw attention
When creating a composition, pay particular attention to where you want viewers’ eyes to be drawn. Try using objects with strong contrast (light and dark) to draw attention to key elements of the scene.
10) Shoot away from light sources
When shooting in black and white mode, try to shoot away from light sources. For example, if you’re photographing someone’s face, make sure it isn’t backlit and is evenly lit on both sides of their face.
11) Use a tripod
A tripod is essential for shooting black and white photos. This will help you keep your images sharp and in focus, even when using a slow shutter speed.
12) Post-process your images
While the above tips will help you take great black and white photos, post-processing is still essential. Use a program like Photoshop to adjust the contrast, saturation, and other elements of your images until you’re happy with the results.
By following these tips, you too can create amazing black and white photos in the style of Bruce Weber. So get out there and start shooting.