Ever wonder how photographers like Edward Weston were able to get super high contrast black and white prints? It wasn't all in the printing, it wasn't all in the negative, and it wasn't all in the camera. You need all three and a wee bit of mathematics.
Anyone can achieve those super high contrast black and white images with a little bit of mathematics, some understanding of light and the chemicals involved in developing film. Okay, I just reread what I wrote and I think I made it sound harder than it is. Here is the basic technique: underexpose your shot and overdevelop your film. It helps first to compose a scene in interesting light. The two images attached to this tip were taken in bright sunshine beaming in on a porch. The light was coming in from the south and shining directly on a chair in one corner of the porch. There was a lot of shadows on the rest of the porch as it was late afternoon. I decided to underexpose the shot but wasn’t sure how much I needed so I took two shots, the first shot was underexposed by two f/stops and the second by 3 f/stops. Underexposing means that there will be a lot of blacks and very little whites—a dark shot, too dark. But that’s okay because you can bring back those whites while developing the film.
When black and white film is developed the blacks develop first and stop developing after the first two or three minutes, the whites keep developing as long as the film is in the developer. So depending on how much you underexposed the film will determine how long you overdevelop the film. Since I underexposed by two to three f/stops I overdeveloped by half. For example, using Sprint developer, Kodak TRI-X 400 needs 10 minutes, so I developed it for 15 minutes instead to bring out the whites that were underexposed. You get a very thick negative which requires longer processing. If you do not develop your own film you will need to explain this process to whomever you use and hope they understand. There is some risk involved. If you don’t develop the film long enough you’ll get flat negatives and flat photos. If you develop too long the highlights (whites) will be blown out with no details. If you scan your own negatives you can adjust your image. But remember you cannot bring back details that don’t exist.
I love high contrast photos especially for still life. They work great for nudes and portraits as well. Good luck and let me know if you give it try. I’d like to see the results.
What makes an engaging image? What makes a photograph seem more like a memory than just an image? How is it able to make you feel as if you were right there, in that moment, experiencing the scene first hand?
Not all photographs are meant to be seen in vibrant, saturated colors, and neither are they always suitable for in black and white. Lomography welcomes yet another innovation from KONO! The Reanimated Film. Without diminishing the aesthetic value of images, KONO! Donau 35mm Film casts a distinct blue tone to photos. It is ultra-low ISO film that is best used for long exposure shots. Check out this fine selection of uniquely tinted images.
Most of the community's activities and discussions center on photographs. All throughout 2015, we were treated to hundreds of thousands of wonderful images. We'd like to thank everyone who graciously uploaded and shared their snapshots with the community! These dedicated lomographers, however, deserve special recognition for setting these skyrocketing numbers. Meet our top photo uploaders of 2015.
It’s time to add an analogue touch to all those photos taken with your smartphone! We’ve restocked the Shop with Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1, a portable and easy-to-use printer that allows you to magically transform your mobile photos, as well as scanned analogue photos, into super-cool instant snapshots. It works great with Android and iOS tablets and phones - simply transfer the images to the device by using the free Instax Share app and start printing!
The New Petzval Lens is a stunning reinvention of one of the first and greatest lenses of all time. It produces images with extreme sharpness, artful vignetting and absolutely beautiful swirly bokeh backgrounds. Click through to see 30 breathtaking black and white photos after the jump!
Colors may be amped to look unreal, like nothing of this world. Shots may be doubled, cross-processed, post-processed, mixed up into collages. The possibilities are infinite, yet some photographers still prefer black and white. Even in 2016, it is an ode to classic values of precision and balance. Light and shadow must be one pleasing dance. And just like in a well-choreographed piece, forms are obvious or playing coy. It all depends on how you're looking.
Off the main island of Singapore is the small island of Pulau Ubin, whose appearance is reminiscent of life in this highly urbanized country as it was many decades ago. Boredslacker gives us a glimpse through her gritty black and white photographs of the place.
Since Lomography launched its new Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens project on Kickstarter, we've been seeing a variety of pictures, from images of snow monkeys in Japan to behind-the-scenes shots of New York Fashion Week. Many of these pictures were shot with digital cameras, but we've yet to see how the Petzval 58 performs on an analog Canon Rebel camera loaded with black and white, and x-pro film. Join us on a trip through the heart of New York's Chinatown during the Lunar New Year Parade.
Browsing through the Lomography website, you can find a lot of redscale shots, which are all done on color negative films. I asked myself if it’s possible to redscale a slide or chrome film and then cross process it. (And yes, it is.) In this tipster I’m going to teach you how to create the bloodiest homemade redscale film I've ever come across.
Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)
Ever since it opened in the '60s the Jigokudani Yaenkoen park in Nagano Prefecture, Japan has been visited by people from all over the world to observe the famous snow monkeys, or the Japanese Macaque. Lomographer ihave2pillows had the wonderful opportunity to see the snow monkeys up close a couple of years ago, and here are some of the photographs that he had shared with the community.
Capture all the sights in one sweeping frame with your LC-A+ and LC-A+ Wide-Angle Lens! Check out these images from the community and, while you're at it, find out how you can earn piggies and have your own photographs be featured on the Online Shop!
Have you ever wondered why those nerdy camera constructors formulate complicated terms that baffle most normal citizens? Trust me, I know it all too well; Physics was the first subject to go when I had to choose between studying and spending yet another night pursuing youthful adventures. But don't worry — the remedy for all of the gaps in your knowledge is right here: Lomography’s Little Lessons on Photography. Follow this series and in no time you'll catch up on everything your curious mind desires!