Photographing Black and White Nature: Tipster

7

We all know how astonishing and breath-taking Mother Nature can be. However, are you able to take advantage of all this beauty and portray it in your photographs? Here are some humble tips that may help you.

Before I knew about Lomography, even before I came across with analogue photography, I have already felt captivated by Mother Nature. I cannot describe the way it makes feel, I just want to capture all their beauty and show what I see to others. The problem is that, every time I think about Nature, I do it in black and white, as some kind of frozen memory. This is what I do before shooting.

Flowers are precious beings, with so many different shapes and colours. This is something you will have to consider before choosing any black and white film, or even before choosing the camera or the background around your principal subject. You may not see it, but all these things are powerful tools on their own, but when they are all together, they can be the master key in your photographs. So here is the trick, every time you shoot in black and white, you have to think in black and white. This means that every colour and every tone your eye perceive will have to be immediately transform into a grey scale. This will give an idea of how your picture will look like, and how to take advantage of all the colours around you so that each one of them stands out on its own, this way you will get a more contrasted picture, with interesting shadows and lights.

I mentioned before that the camera and film were an important thing. If you want to get a really precise image, I recommend you to choose a camera with a decent lens. The optic here will play a very important role. For example, if you want a well-defined flower, I recommend you to chose a rangefinder camera. The results are really amazing.

On the other hand, if you are looking for something more experimental, our lovely and unlimited toy cameras are a great option. I like both ways, it all depends on the mood I am, but you can get great photographs with both, you just have to decide since the very beginning how you want your pictures to look like. It is all up to you, and what you are expecting to get. Do you want a photograph where the flower is perfectly drawn, or do you prefer a tender and ghostly presence of a flower?

Choosing the correct film will influence the whole atmosphere of your pictures. I usually work with an Ilford XP2 400, but I have worked with the Kodak TX 400, as well as the 110 black and white film, the Orca. Each of them were made in different ways, so they have different tones. The Kodak TX 400 has a more sepia effect, the Ilford is definitely the definition of a grey scale, and the Orca gets you more contrast.

Kodak TX 400
Ilford XP2 400

Those steps were the preparation for the big deal. Pre-production is like half of the work, but there is still missing the other half, which will come alive in the practice, at the very moment of shooting. What I am talking about is, composition and angles. When I say composition, I am referring to the Golden Section.

The Golden Section is used almost in everything, but for most designers, architects, artist and photographers, this is the way to get an interesting and well-composed piece of art. The point where the spiral seems to never end, is the point where your photograph will have more tension, in other words, the most beautiful and important part of the whole photograph.

I know you cannot bring the Golden Section every time you go out to take some pictures; but you will have to mentally remember it and, as if your eyes where some kind of scan, imagine the Golden Section in front of your image before shooting. You may want to reconsider if it is the perfect angle for your picture.

Well, that is all. I hope this tips serves you all. Do not forget that this steps are important, but it is more important what you see, and what you do not see. So keep your eyes wide open and practice.

written by panefeky on 2013-04-19 in #gear #tipster #tipster #beauty-in-black-and-white #close-up #nature #minolta #film #angle #ilford-xp2 #yashica #flower #composition #orca #intimate #golden-section #nature-in-black-and-white

7 Comments

  1. bsdunek
    bsdunek ·

    Good tips. B&W nature is more difficult, as color seems to make everything look good. I still like B&W for many things.

  2. panefeky
    panefeky ·

    @bsdunek Thank you. Color seems to play an important role, but so does monochrome pictures. I love the mood it brings as well as the contrast and how everything looks beautiful with the lights and shadows.

  3. janja93
    janja93 ·

    Good stuff, I love the look of minimalist black & white photos especially!

  4. stonerfairy
    stonerfairy ·

    Great TIPS! THanx Alot!

  5. panefeky
    panefeky ·

    @stonerfairy Your welcome! Glad you liked it.

  6. mllev
    mllev ·

    Great article, thanks!! I tend to use b&w, but sometimes, I wonder whether certain pictures would not have been better in color... I shoot 1 or 2 color films and go back to b&w :)

  7. panefeky
    panefeky ·

    @mllev thank you <3 i'm glad you find it useful. It is hard to decide wether or not to use b&w, I guess it all depends on the concept of your photograph.

More Interesting Articles

  • Basic Black and White IR Photography How-To's

    written by chooolss on 2014-05-02 in #gear #tipster
    Basic Black and White IR Photography How-To's

    Have you ever wanted to try out black and white infrared photography but don't know where to begin? Look no further; here's a tipster to get you on the right track!

    5
  • Street Photography Tips: Use Your Horizon Camera

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-05-13 in #gear #tipster
    Street Photography Tips: Use Your Horizon Camera

    The Horizon Kompakt and Perfekt may be a bit bulkier than your usual compact cameras, but aside from taking photos of beautiful landscapes, they can also be your partners in taking pictures on the streets. Here are a few tips to get you started.

    2
  • Lomography Singapore and Parallel Planets Present: 'Façades: Neo-Noir Portraits Exhibition'

    written by edwinchau on 2015-03-25 in #world #events
    Lomography Singapore and Parallel Planets Present: 'Façades: Neo-Noir Portraits Exhibition'

    Lomography Singapore plays host to Parallel Planets’ first exhibition, "Façades: Neo-Noir Portraits Exhibition," featuring all-analog photography: a sea of black and white film portraits. This exhibition serves as a platform where both local and international photographers can express themselves by injecting individual perspectives into their craft. It also encourages viewers to look through the lens of the photographers, to see the subjects as who they are – flawed, alive, and breathing – and to also see beyond the façades we all choose to don.

    5
  • Shop News

    LomoKino & LomoKinoscope Package

    LomoKino & LomoKinoscope Package

    Enjoy a truly analogue moviemaking experience with Lomography's 35mm movie camera and an accompanying accessory to watch your films with. View your masterpieces in the most analogue way possible with the LomoKinoscope. Get it now 20% off the regular price!

  • The Analogue Quiz: What B&W Film are you?

    written by andie_sollmer on 2014-10-20 in #news
    The Analogue Quiz: What B&W Film are you?

    Did you ever think about the myth that we actually dream in Black & White? No colors, maybe no truth behind it anyways. But we know for a fact that you can create the most dreamy photographs with an analogue camera. And for that you need the right film. Scroll down and find out which B&W film is the film of your dreams!

    4
  • My Lomo’Instant Quick Tips

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-11-12 in #gear #tipster
    My Lomo’Instant Quick Tips

    I backed the Kickstarter project for the Lomo’Instant earlier this year and was thrilled to receive it last week. I love how the camera naturally encourages you to experiment with its different features, whether it’s through flashing your multiple exposures with different colors or trying different creative techniques after your shots has been ejected. Here are a few tips from what I’ve discovered from playing with the camera so far (and a couple of tips I want to try out in future)!

  • Workshops and Events for January 2015 at Lomography UK

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-01-05 in #events
    Workshops and Events for January 2015 at Lomography UK

    Happy New Year Everyone. We're confident that our January 2015 workshops will help you dust off those January blues and get you smiling again. You'll be able to learn how to expose an image onto fabric or canvas with our LUMI paint workshop, learn the basics of our super Diana F+ camera and take to the streets with the Lomo'instant. There is also a great exhibition of analogue prints from photographer Arat “Huge” Komsawadichai. Find out more and book your spot by clicking here.

  • Shop News

    Lubi Scooby Doo! Save 15% on Lomography film in the Bundle with the Lubitel!

    Lubi Scooby Doo! Save 15% on Lomography film in the Bundle with the Lubitel!

    This beautiful camera features such ability to let users choose and switch between 35mm or 120 formats! Shoot more, save more! Get this Lubitel camera and get 15% discounts with Lomography Films!

  • Portugal. The Man Petzval Concert Shoot by Matthias Hombauer

    written by zonderbar on 2014-06-27 in #people #lomoamigos
    Portugal. The Man Petzval Concert Shoot by Matthias Hombauer

    The New Petzval Art Lens is the perfect portrait lens. But have you ever wondered how it performs in difficult situations with low light and unpredictable movements, such as a concert? Viennese rockstar photographer Matthias Hombauer proves that such a challenge can be surpassed with exceptional results. In Linz, Austria he met the American rock band Portugal. The Man and shot excellent black and white photos! Check out the gallery below and let Matthias teach you how to work with the lens during concerts.

    1
  • Lomography & The Red Bulletin: Your Moment. Beyond the Ordinary

    written by analogeanstalten on 2014-08-20 in #competitions
    Lomography & The Red Bulletin: Your Moment. Beyond the Ordinary

    Have you ever experienced feeling goosebumps all over your body, that your heart seems to jump out of your ribcage, your common sense is set on pause and you just breathe and enjoy the moment? Together with The Red Bulletin, we want to see YOUR moment beyond everyday life. Are you ready for the photographic #yourmoment #beyondtheordinary challenge? Take part in our photo competition! The two best shots will be awarded with a camera, and the first 500 to register will get a one-year free subscription of The Red Bulletin!

  • How to Make Special Aperture Plates for Your Petzval Lens, Halloween Edition

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-10-29 in #gear #tipster
    How to Make Special Aperture Plates for Your Petzval Lens, Halloween Edition

    Halloween fever is in full swing. Everything ghostly, scary or freakishly extraordinary are either on display or being spoken of in hushed voices through spine-chilling tales. Apart from wearing the scariest costumes and taking photos of of your petrifying selves, why not amplify the Halloween spirit a notch higher by using Halloween-themed aperture plates with the New Petzval Lens? Here's a quick tipster that'll teach you how to make special aperture plates and make the most out of them this Halloween!

  • Shop News

    Colorsplash your World!

    Colorsplash your World!

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • The Wonderful Adventures of the Petzval Lens

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-23 in #people #news
    The Wonderful Adventures of the Petzval Lens

    As all you lomographers will know, since its re-inception we have been following the tracks of the Petzval Lens. Indeed, this bokeh-genius has been traveling far and wide, falling into the hands of many a photographer the world over. We decided to put together this little catalog of talented artists and their most enticing photographs, shot using the Petzval lens, so we can show you what wonders and mischief we have brought upon us. Come take a look at the outcome of the Petzval’s transnational journey.

    3
  • Lomography X Das Salz der Erde Competition Winners

    written by petit_loir on 2015-04-27 in #people #competitions
    Lomography X Das Salz der Erde Competition Winners

    On the occasion of the German DVD release of Wim Wenders' latest documentary, "Das Salz der Erde (The Salt of the Earth)," on April 9, we asked you to send us your best black and white photographs. You have done your best and so making the decision was quite difficult. Read on to find out who will be celebrating with DVDs and piggies!

    4
  • Fresh LC-Wide Snaps from the Community Rumble Winners

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-27 in #world #news #competitions
    Fresh LC-Wide Snaps from the Community Rumble Winners

    This stunning showcase will make you go wide-eyed with wonder!

    4