black and white selfie

The Art of Black and White Photography

Art means approach and technique. This is my personal take on black and white photography:

Abstract is better

To me, monochrome is most interesting when we are not quite sure what we are looking at. This means:

  1. Shoot uber-high contrast monochrome black and white to intentionally *obscure* much of what is happening in your photo and frame. The Italian painterly notion of ‘chiaroscuro‘ literally means clear+obscure. Make what you are shooting clear by making sure there is strong contrast, an outline of your subject, separation, figure-to-ground, or perhaps a silhouette.
  2. When you’re shooting, deliberately under-expose your photos (-1 or -2) to darken much of the photograph, to make it more mysterious.
  3. With post-processing, ‘crush the blacks‘ — increase the ‘blacks’ slide in post processing in Lightroom or Apple Photos, and increase the contrast to the maximum.
  4. To make your photos more surreal, shoot reflections, abstract shapes and forms on the ground, gritty textures, or when the light is unusual.
  • black and white selfie
  • selfie black and white ERIC KIM
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