Creativity Exercise: Black and White Week

We've been talking a lot in our weekly critiques and on the blog about Black and White Photography. So we're diving in head first and are only going to make black and white images this week!

Since we live in a world of colour, it can take a bit of practice learning to see in black and white. But the good news is, the more you do it, the easier it becomes and you'll be pre-visualising and planning your black and white images before you make them in no time! 

If you need a bit of guidance on when it's best to convert an image to black and white and what to look for when shooting, have a read of our Converting Images to Black and White tutorial. If you want a bit of help with help, check out our Black and White Editing Screencast

What I love most about stripping away the colour from an image, is that you are instantly drawn to the emotion, connection and story within the image. There is a timeless, nostalgic and moody quality to black and white photography that can't always be achieved in colour. 

There are no real rules this week, besides to only make black and white images. You can shoot any subject you like anywhere you would like.

When you're going about your day, try and see past the colour. Look for lines, shadows, shapes and forms. Think about how you would use the light to enhance your black and white. Look for contrast. Look for a clean white and a clean black to avoid a muddy looking image. 

If you're struggling to not see the colour, try switching over to the monochrome or black and white setting on your camera. I wouldn't recommend shooting black and whites like this all the time, as if you're shooting in RAW in colour you'll have more control in post production to convert your image. BUT for the sake of this exercise seeing the preview on your LCD screen in black and white can be really helpful. You'll see the tones, light and dark, and how the light is falling and can tell immediately if the image works in black and white or not. 


At the end of the week, look back and analyse all of the images you made. Are they compelling in black and white? Would they have been better in colour? Which ones do you like most and why? Do you prefer more high contrast, dramatic or cleaner conversions? 

As always, we'd love to see your images and hear how you found this exercise, so be sure to tag #unscriptedmentoring on Instagram. 

- Jenny

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Jenny RusbyComment