Shooting Techniques for Black & White Panoramas
You know, black and white photography is so much fun and black and white panoramas, they also have a visceral quality about them. They're so intriguing to look at. And we'll show a couple of examples of that today. But what am I looking for in the field? Let's look. So this scene here is fantastic for color but this is also a tremendous scene for black and white. Here's why. We got this nice blue sky and the blue sky can always turn black and make it look like an Ansel Adams type of look. And that contrasts beautifully with these puffy white clouds. Also, the graffiti and the rust, and just this old-school feel here is gonna really be great for the contrast in a black and white final print. So when I see stuff like this, I think, yes, color, but also, I'm really shooting this for the end result, which I think is gonna be better in black and white. So I'm gonna shoot this photo now. I'm gonna go through my settings that I mentioned earlier. One of the first things I'm gonna do is make s...
ure my ISO is still set properly. So I push that in, I'm at ISO 100. White balance, I'm set for sunny, still. Image quality, I'm on raw. That's fantastic. Exposure compensation, I'm gonna zero that out again. And focus, I'm gonna end up focusing out there on the structures on the gasworks elements. And then I'm gonna lock focus so it won't change from shot to shot to shot. The last thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna meter the scene and I'm gonna take one example photo, probably over here on the left side and make sure my cloud's not blowing out. And once I get that, I'm gonna lock that exposure in for the rest of the panorama. So here we go. I'll aim it over here, take a shot. (shutter clicks) Look at the results on the back of the camera. Mm-hmm, there we go. There's my blinkies and my highlights. I haven't blown out the clouds. So maybe they can add another third of a stop exposure. And then I'll go off and take the rest of the shots. So I'll add another third by pushing my exposure compensation. I'm gonna go over here, lock the exposure with my AE lock button. And now I'm gonna shoot the photo sequence. I am actually shooting with a 24 to 70 millimeter lens. And my focal length is at about 35 millimeters. So it's a little bit wide-angled. So I'm gonna overlap maybe more like 40% from picture to picture. So I'm gonna take a shot, move it so I overlap 40%, take another shot, 40%, so on and so forth. All right, here goes. Picture number one, (shutter clicks) two, three, four, five. And I'll do one more. A lot of times I'll take a couple of photos of the same scenario, this one, I'm gonna shoot a little bit tighter. The last one I shot kinda wide. I'm gonna go more into like 50 millimeter zoom, here. So I zoom it to about and take the same sequence again. All right, lockin' my exposure. And before I take the shots, I actually start on the left and I rotate it to the right to make sure I'm not chopping off anything on the top. It all looks good. And then I'm just gonna do one final check to make sure my bubble levels are centered. They're good. And here we go. Picture number one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and one more, eight. Right on. So the result, you can see it on the screen and also, I'll hand-hold the print here. The result turned out really great. It has a fantastic industrial gritty look to it. In fact, I was showing it around the crew here at the Creative Live Studios. A lot of people really responded to this one and said, I like that one the best, even above a lot of the color images that we shot. So black and white, fantastic. I'm gonna talk about processing black and white inside of software. And one of the most important things that we can do with black and white image processing is find blue areas of the sky, and then darken them down in post-processing. And that's what really a lot of times gives the photos a great pop, a sort of gravitas about them. So we'll talk about that in the next segment about processing for black and white.