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Black and White the Classic Approach

Lesson 7 from: FAST CLASS: Minimalist Photography

Curtis Jones

Black and White the Classic Approach

Lesson 7 from: FAST CLASS: Minimalist Photography

Curtis Jones

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Lesson Info

7. Black and White the Classic Approach

Lesson Info

Black and White the Classic Approach

there's something classic and timeless about a black and white photograph and a black and white minimalist photograph even more. So we're gonna go over a couple of reasons why I like to shoot in black and white, why I think it can be a powerful conversion or process for your simplified images. Things like contrast and light shape and form lines. These things become easier to see when you start shooting in black and white color can sometimes be the biggest distraction. And one of the easiest ways to simplify your image is just to get the color out of there. But if you're shooting color or black and white, it's important to remember that contrast is still necessary. An easy way to start taking these minimalist images is to shoot in high key or low key. So high key image is an image that has a lot of brightness and very little dark and a low key images the opposite. A lot of darkness and very little highlight. And those high key low key images are easier to create in black and white. And ...

this is a little snow feature up on baffin Island and this is formed by the blowing wind and there's just a light dusting of snow creating this beautiful sort of powdered look on top and it's late day and you have this little bit of light kind of just peeking down and catching these little ridges in the ice and in color, it's quite nice and like I said, there is some good contrast here but in black and white you can really see that, that light and shadow dynamic and the power of that sort of that angular spike coming down. So it really highlights the shape and the form of that feature versus the color. Um, so for me that black and white feels more more powerful and more dramatic. Here's a black and white shot I took for an outdoor clothing brand and it's my friend Sarah and she's paddling in her canoe up in the, up in nunavut and there's just beautiful cloud cover, very dramatic, super calm and relaxed on the lake. You know, there's this great moment of just sort of the water dripping off the paddle as she goes into the distance to the other shore. And for me it's very calm. It's very still, it's just this beautiful, quiet moment in nature with the power of like, you know, the weather kind of moving in on to Sarah. That image in color is still quite quiet and calm and peaceful. But the fact that, you know, her jacket is this bright purple color. The boat sort of washed out blue. There's some green in the landscape here. Her paddle is like a yellowy orange and then you've got all this beautiful blue. So this image works really well in color to be honest. And because it was for an outdoor brand, a clothing brand company color was necessary. They weren't really going to go with the black and white to put in their catalogs, but the black and white image or the conversion of black and white for me feels like a nicer minimal image one that I would prefer to print and hang on the wall. For example, as compared to this one. If you're curious at all about shooting in black and white, most digital camera brands these days give you the option of setting your camera up so that when you go out it will be in that mode. If you're shooting in raw and not in jpeg, you're gonna still retain all that color information. So when you bring it back and load it up on your computer, it will be there for you. But you have the option at least to see it in black and white at the time of shooting. So it's a really fun way of being able to play with shape and pattern and contrast light and shadow to create these clean, simple images. The same thing you can do with your phone, there's usually an option to shoot in the black and white or monochromatic mode. It's really simple. I suggest looking up your camera brand and just finding some tutorials online

Ratings and Reviews

Brittany Riggs
 

Lovely and information. The information was relevant and ended up helping a good bit.

Vincent Zuck
 

Very interesting class, in a very unusual location (Arctic), which blended together to give a top notch class. I learned a lot about Minimalism as applied to photography, and Minimalism as applied to post-processing. Curtis is engaging while teaching and demonstrating on site, or back in his "office". I really enjoyed this class. Thank you Curtis.

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