Black & White Portrait
What is Black & White Photography means to me personally?
Black and White imagery though simple, it demand a lot from the photographer to be able to manage the subject and make an interesting images out of it.
The word, capturing the moment, though is captivating, I always feel that in portrait photography, capturing the moment it will only be great if the moment present itself. However, every portrait session, the subject demand the photographer to somehow evoke their emotion so moment present itself so that the photographer can capture them. So if you want to have a picture of a smiley child, well, you got to be the clown. If you like a cheeky child, you got to bring those out and when you want a family that “connect” together, you got to make that happen too. Nothing is as easy as it seems. That’s portrait photography and it takes a lifelong learning to do it well and I am still learning after 10 years.
In Black and White, our eyes focus solely on the “content” of the image and every single details are being lay in front of your eyes for your scrutiny.
When you are working with limitation, you are force to produce images that is carefully executed by manipulate the lighting very carefully to create enough highlight, mid-tone to shadow. Basically the brightest white that still retain information to the darkest black that still contain details as well as all the level of grey that is required to make the images interesting.
I learn that highlight bring the excitement in the images, mid-tone bring comfort while shadow bring mysteriousness… combine the three element carefully, you will arrived at an image that is exciting yet comfortable to look at while contain certain mystery that keep you coming back to the image.
Black & White imagery is very difficult to master as it require high level of skills. It took years to understand how light work, not just how it illuminate the subject, but how it create that dynamic in the picture. It is to answer a question of whether you are using light to merely illuminate the subject or lit the subject that evoke emotion?
In many ways, every photographer need to have their own “personal project” that is on-going that allow the photographer to learn what interest them the most.
For me, Black and White imagery is perhaps my personal project that I do every single shoot… I shoot majority of the shoot for family who arrives at photo shoot, but leave some of them remain as my personal work that I enjoy.
I must say I enjoy it very much and perhaps a little too much when my son told me that he wanted to grow up like me, but like to capture the images in color rather B&W. Is it a compliment? or perhaps something else? Only time will tell.
So if you enjoy the Black and White Imagery as much as I do, do drop us a line and we can have a chat on how we can create something together.