Simple is better:
When shooting monochrome, make photos with a ‘cherry on top’ (a small, subtle, yet beautiful detail).
For example in the above photo, you see the ‘pinnochio nose’ shadow. What is the symbolism of this shadow?
2. Put your hand in the photo
Put your hand in the foreground of your photo, to add more personal-ness to the photo, and another interesting detail.
I think post-processing your photos into monochrome is essential. Play around with the ‘blacks slider’ (I prefer the ‘crush the blacks‘ aesthetic).
There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ aesthetic in black and white. Just post-process your photos until the photos look beautiful to you.
4. Use a flash
Flash will add more contrast and help your subjects ‘pop out’ from the background. Experiment with a flash in your monochrome photos.
Seek to simplify your photos. Simple tip:
Shoot from a very high angle, and point your camera downwards.
I recommend using a camera with an LCD screen to do this.
6. Separate your subject from the background
It is good to photograph your subject, especially when they are wearing a white outfit, to separate then from the background (figure to ground)
7. Obscure is good
Obscure your subject, by photographing them through obscure backgrounds — such as a semi-transparent background, like glass walls, or windows. This is an example of a Chiaroscuro composition — which means “clear + obscure”.
Make sure your subject is clear (white space around them), but also obscure them. This is also when shooting blur is good.
All black everything:
- Why I Don’t Like Grey
- Crush the Blacks
- MONOCHROM: The Streets Are Your Rome
- Black is Good; White is Bad
- Black Canvas
- Monochrome Manual
- How to Shoot Black and White Street Photography
- Why Shoot Black and White?
- Video: How to Master Monochrome
- Eric Kim Lightroom Presets (use Monochrome 1600)
Phantom Black Products
- Eric Kim Wrist Strap
- Eric Kim Neck Strap
- Henri Wrist Strap Pro
- Henri Wrist Strap
- Henri Shoulder Strap
Unleash your creative potential:
- November 7th, 2020: ERIC KIM BLOGGING MASTER CLASS (Online, via Zoom). [Register Intent Here]
- April 10-11th, 2021: BOSTON / Discover Your Unique Voice in Photography Workshop [Register Intent Here]
- May 1-2nd, 2021: CHICAGO / Street Photography Composition Masterclass [Register Intent Here]
- May 22-22nd, 2021: NEW YORK CITY / STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS by ERIC KIM [Register Intent Here]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.