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Black & White & Color

Lesson 50 from: FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

Black & White & Color

Lesson 50 from: FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

50. Black & White & Color


Class Trailer

Photographic Characteristics


Camera Types


Shutter System


Shutter Speed Basics


Camera Settings Overview


Camera Settings - Details


Sensor Size: Basics


Focal Length


Lesson Info

Black & White & Color

I've talked a little bit about black and white, and I think black and white is a great way of showing photographs for many different reasons. In some cases, the colors aren't that interesting, and you kind of want to get right down to the material of what's going on this subject matter at hand and sometimes black and white gets away all the fluff and gets you right down to the content material. It obviously deals a lot with contrast between lights and darks and using that tonal range as best it can. And so it's something that's been used for a long, long time. It's how I got started in photography, and it tends to be very popular for street photography. It's a favorite for that, but it could be used for all types of photography, and I like muralist cameras because I can throw them into the black and white mode I see through the View Finder, the world in black and white, and it helps me judge whether the photograph is gonna be as good as I hoped it would be. When I turn it in black and ...

white Now, I'll leave my camera in raw because when you should enroll, you get the full information off the sensor, which means I'm gonna get a color image back, and I'm gonna turn it back into black and white once I get it into the computer. But with having it in the viewfinder in black and white, I can really see the tonal range, and sometimes I will go into the color controls on my camera and the contrast controls, and I'll start mimicking certain looks I want I might start adding contrast just to get a better idea of what that final image is going to be like. But once again, I'm capturing it on raw, so I'm actually going to finish it off later again. I know, I said earlier in the class. Don't have a bunch of empty white clouds in the top of the frame. Well, if there's contrast, you can have some negative space there. And I thought, this is you know, this is a This is my version of Seattle. This is what Seattle's like. It is cloudy a lot here, but they're kind of beautiful clouds, and so it's not a problem. So there's a lot of great black and white images out there, and it just forces you to think about images in a different way. And sometimes when I'm shooting with a muralist camera, I'll put my camera in a black and white mode. Even if I'm not shooting black and white, I find it's sometimes easier just to concentrate on my subject and think about my subject did not worry about the other factors by being in a black and white mode, and so you might want to try that sometime. Just go out and put your camera in a black and white mode, and even if you have an SLR, you can put it in the black and white mode and use the live you on the back of the camera and you'll be able to see the world in black and white. And so it's fun to to see the world that way and then have a certain collection of photos that I think just look better in black and white. In some cases, next up is color, and obviously obviously as we've talked about before, we see the world a little differently because we see the world in color and the way that you look at this photograph in black and white. It's gonna be affected by the contrasts and the lightness. And your eyes are drawn to the bridge because it's the unusual element in there. It's the man made element versus the natural element. It's the brightest object in there. But when we change it to a color photograph, your eyes start jumping around to different areas in the frame because our eyes are attracted to colors. And so any time you have nice, vibrant, bold colors, that's gonna be a good additional element to have on that frame. Yes, there are lots of red cars, and those are gonna be once it very easy to pick out. And so any time you have nice, good colors, I don't think this would be nearly as interesting if it was just painted a muddy brown or grey look. And so there are certain places that are kind of photographers. Heavens, you might say, because they are so colorful and you know, any time you have that level of vibrance in abundance of color, it's gonna make for a good starting element. It may not be enough to hold the photos, so you wanna have other things in there as well, but there is no end to the color that we could experience now. Color like line has a lot of different sub categories in my mindset, and so one of those is spot color, and that is where you are in a mostly black and white environment. But you have one thing of color, and here's where we're going to see a lot of red cars in Cuba. It's mostly kind of faded out area, but one bright, shiny red car comes to there. It stands out for multiple reasons, you know? Why does it stand out? Yes, cause its red yes, cause its sharp Yes, because it's a different texture than everything else in the background. So you have multiple reasons why that subject is standing out from its background, and it's good to have a kind of a multiplication factor if something is drawing your attention for multiple reasons in a particular area. And once again, you know that small human figure is a little bit more noticeable when we have it brightly colored, and so look for those areas that have that spot color among everything else. One of my favorite types of color is the graduated color, and this is what happens at sunrises and sunsets and in some other unusual situations. And so there is a beautiful, changing color when the sun is on the horizon that you can go from a red to a purple in this kind of continuous, ever so slight change. And that color change is very fascinating to the I because it is just a natural Grady int that's happening. And so this happens all the time on all the sunrises and sunsets that you can see the sky in there. So it's a good chance to be out there and capturing that colored radiant one of my favorite scenes down in Miami, I was out in the middle of some field shooting this and right next to this busy highway, and all these cars are driving past, and I'm kind of just like this is awesome and nobody's stopping. Nobody sees what this is going on here. Sometimes you get all caught up on the things that you like to photograph. Another concept is monotone color, and this actually happens quite frequently in a certain environment due to the structures around it. or the environment around it. It's just kind of that same color reflecting off of everything else, and everything has that one monotone color to it, and that's perfectly fine. You can kind of just work with that. This was construction on the underneath side of the 5 20 Bridge and just was an interesting pattern that had this monotone color to it. And so it's OK. We can play things on a single color channel, you might say. In these cases, everything's of a very similar color. I love this green and green and green. There's a city in Morocco, chef Shaolin, and they paint the inner city blue and they have all these different blues all around, and it's just so fun. It's It's kind of an eerie place to be. It feels like you're at the bottom of a swimming pool because everything is just blue around you and it's it's fun. It's just fun being in an environment that is so different like that. Okay, a new one for anyone who's seen my classes before. I call this color matching, and this is Ah, 10 have a lot of street photographs in here, and this is where you happen to find multiple colors that seem to match that, you know, you might not normally find together. And so it's just kind of playing the mix and match game. We got something over here. We got something over here. Can we match them together and so finding those colors that work together? And so there's a lot of different matching colors in here that works. And one of the other secrets on this shot that worked out really well is that I was standing on the other side of the street and I was in bright sun. The whole building right beside me was in really street was in really bright light. And I was with one of my tour groups and somebody was asking me about you know how to get a good shot like, Well, this is a good spot to get, because there's this really bright light and it's all reflecting over here. There's some people to second I get the shot on, Uh, just like John. I was right there when you shot that. I go. Yeah, this is a great spot, too, because anyone who walks down there, yeah, it's a side street that's in the shadows. But it's got this beautiful light illuminating on it. And it was just a nice moment, I think. And so, finding these colors that you know, happen to be together. And so patience pays off in these cases, you know, come up with an idea and okay, we're gonna have the right elements come around. But this is also the type of thing that just as you walk around, you're gonna notice. Oh, wait. Thes two things are coming together. And so what can I do to include them in the frame? You see that yellow theme playing out in there in back in chef shower in. I was actually I was hoping for a woman in a yellow dress because yellow and blue would make a nice mix matching colors. But blue on blue has a whole different feeling. And I'm perfectly fine with that as well. So think about colors and complementary colors because they often work well together. So we have our primary colors red, green and blue. And then we have scion magenta and yellow. And so if you play these in opposite pairs, they tend to do pretty well. They're kind of. There's a vibrance that goes on with the human eye in the retina that they play well against each other because their exact opposites of each other. And so this tends to be pretty good colors now. It's not to say that this color and another color wouldn't be good. But the's colors tend to do quite well with each other as faras being vibrant and really easily seen. You know, I would. I would second guess you if you wanted to make your Web page one color and the text the opposite color. That may not work in that type of color scheme, but for photographs and having different elements in them. It could be very, very useful for having a subject that stands out, and it doesn't have to be the exact perfect red with the exact perfect science. But colors in that general range play well off of each other, and so just kind of keep an eye on those because they do have a nice look toe. Probably the most common is yellow and blue, and that's because we have blue skies, and so any time you find something yellow, you just include it with the sky, and then you get a nice little blue yellow match in there, which works out very, very easily. And so I had to have end up having a lot more of these than anything else. And these are very easy to get at twilight because we have the tungsten light that building's air usually illuminated in with that beautiful blue in the background.

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