Photographing Black and White Nature: Tipster


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 #angle #minolta #beauty-in-black-and-white #flower #golden-section #nature #nature-in-black-and-white #orca #composition #intimate #close-up #yashica #ilford-xp2 #tipster #film


  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. janja93
    janja93 ·

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

  3. stonerfairy
    stonerfairy ·

    Great TIPS! THanx Alot!

  4. 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 :)

More Interesting Articles

  • Photos of Tiny People in a Big World

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-04-28 in #world #lifestyle
    Photos of Tiny People in a Big World

    How incredible that a tiny thing as a camera can depict the vast empire of nature and city life! And peppered among the tall and wide views are people, humble and pint-sized from a distance. See how four photographers portrayed this astonishing contrast.

  • Classic Scenes with the Lomo Lubitel 166+

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-06-22 in #gear #lifestyle
    Classic Scenes with the Lomo Lubitel 166+

    Lomo Lubitel 166+ is a match to the classic beauty of black and white photography. Perennial scenes of city life and nature get the right amount of light and dark, thanks to trusty exposure settings. The glass lens, with its sharp vision, helps photographers get tonal and evocative imagery. These photos from all over the community are prime examples.

  • Photographer Chuck Jines Offers Quick Tips on Overcoming Fear of Shooting Street Photography

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-09-03 in #world #tipster #videos
    Photographer Chuck Jines Offers Quick Tips on Overcoming Fear of Shooting Street Photography

    Got street photography fright? In this video, Chuck Jines dishes out a few tips on how you can dispel your fears and take powerful street photographs.

  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

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

    written by edwinchau on 2015-03-25 in #world #events #videos
    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.

  • September 2015 Callout for Contributions

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-09-11 in #world #news
    September 2015 Callout for Contributions

    It's Tipstember! For this month, we will be awarding 25 fat piggies to every tipster article that gets published on the Lomography Magazine. You can share tips on composition, lighting, film experiments and camera modifications; or maybe techniques for shooting portraits, landscapes, still life and even wildlife! If you don't have tricks up your sleeve, however, you can still contribute to the Magazine and let your voice be heard. Here are some suggestions.

  • Eye-Catching Revolog Snaps from the Community

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-09-06 in #gear #news
    Eye-Catching Revolog Snaps from the Community

    Take a look at this beautiful hodgepodge of edgy photographs captured with the Revolog films! While you're at it, find out how you can earn piggies and have your own photographs be featured on the Online Shop.

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • 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!

  • Perfect Combination for a Hazy Day: Lomo LC-A and a Pushed Ilford HP5+

    written by sirio174 on 2015-05-06 in #gear #reviews
    Perfect Combination for a Hazy Day: Lomo LC-A and a Pushed Ilford HP5+

    In this article, I'll show you how the Lomo LC-A loaded with the versatile Ilford HP5+ can make the most out of a hazy morning. To capture the whirlwind of a bicycle race, I pushed the film to ISO 800. The legendary Minitar 1 lens and this classic Ilford film are a perfect combination if you love black and white photos.

  • 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)!

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • 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.

  • Tipster: DIY X-Pro Redscale

    written by rancliffhasenza on 2015-09-27 in #gear #tipster
    Tipster: DIY X-Pro Redscale

    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.

  • Masterly Examples of Photo Reflections

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-04-24 in #world #lifestyle
    Masterly Examples of Photo Reflections

    Lomographers love reflections. Peruse the website and you are bound to find water puddles mirroring trees and glass windows duplicating people's motions. What beautiful sights to record indeed! But how else can we approach this doppelgänger effect? Seven ace photographers give us wonderful ideas.