Photo Challenge - See and shoot in black and white

Kirk is one of the employees at The Brass Knob in Adams Morgan. Click on the image to see more of my black & white images in their antique store.Rainbows and sunsets can be beautiful subjects -- for another challenge. Not this one. For this challenge, we will practice seeing and shooting in black and white.

One effective way of improving your photo composition and creativity is by limiting your options. Less can be more...creative. In this challenge, we will practice less is more by excluding color.

Today's camera and software technology make it easy to create black and white images with two different approaches. 

Capture it in camera - Most digital cameras allow you to use a setting that captures your photos in black and white jpeg. When you use this choice, your camera will discard all the colors and keep your black and white image. This can be a fun option to see what your subject looks like as you are shooting, especially if you are training your eye to see in monochrome. Remember most cameras will not capture black and white if you are using your Raw setting. If you prefer to keep both, try Raw + jpeg.

Create it in post - Just about all photo editing software will allow you to strip away color and create your black and white image. This has the obvious advantage of allowing you to go back and add color. You have the most flexibility with the Raw format, but you will be learning to see in black and white when you are at your computer, not behind the camera.

What should you shoot? One of the benefits of black and white photos is in removing potentially distracting colors. That unintended splash of red or orange that pulls the eye away from your portrait can be eliminated by going monochrome. Can't get the white balance just right? No need in black and white.

Without the distraction of color, your viewer is freed to focus more on composition, shapes, color, texture, lines and so on. That means you should be giving those elements more careful scrutiny as well. 

Take the Challenge 

Now it's your turn. Take the challenge of creating an image without the distraction of colors. Make it black and white in camera or in post production. 

Share your images with us

When you have your photo, share it in our Photo Projects 2013 Google + Community or link to it in the comments below.