12 TRICKS TO CAPTURE STUNNING BLACK AND WHITE LANDSCAPES

It is almost inevitable to imagine first a landscape full of color, a golden sunrise or sunset, or even at the hour when everything turns blue. This does not mean that it is the only way to capture it. In fact, there are photographs of black and white landscapes that leave you breathless. And if you take away the color of a landscape ... how is it possible that it impresses in such a way? I tell you. Sometimes we think that our camera is like a photocopier (in color and black and white), only that instead of photocopying small formats, it is capable of reproducing huge scenarios. Nothing is further from reality. Your camera is not even a copier, if you think so you are underestimating it as much as you. Your camera is a creation tool. You don't need a beautiful landscape to achieve a great landscape photography If you have it, perfect, it will help you, but you need something more and easier to get. You have to imagine that you have a blank canvas ahead and that your brushes are your camera, your head and your heart. Today we will discuss the camera settings above, because you have other landscape articles on the blog that can help you. In today's post I will try to give you some tricks for you to use your head and your heart when it comes to making a landscape in black and white so impressive that one in color (or more).

1. SEE IN BLACK AND WHITE

The first thing to keep in mind is that any landscape will not look good in black and white. You have to learn before to see in grayscale to verify that the result is worth it, because each color has its equivalence in this scale. What in color can be a good contrast, the same in black and white is not. A little trick is, if in doubt, shoot with the monochrome option of your camera. And if you like it, do not hesitate, shoot again but this time in color or if possible in RAW . This way you will not lose some of the information you will need when editing the image.

2. PAMPER THE COMPOSITION

If in any photograph the composition is a fundamental element, in a black and white landscape it becomes even more relevant. As I said at the beginning of the article, we usually expect a landscape in color, this happens because it is the way we usually see our eyes but also because the colors of the landscapes arouse many emotions. The color can even constitute the very composition of a landscape, so by eliminating it, we must treat with much more care the way in which we have the elements within the frame . Because we have also said it, it is not about reproducing, but about creating, so you have to distribute the elements of the landscape so that they immediately capture the attention of the honorable public. Ok, this is very easy, but how to do it? Well, here are some tricks: Use the lines If you think that the lines are only in the city it is because you have not seen enough landscapes. The lines are a strong resource in composition and in black and white they take on greater prominence. Look for them in the scenarios that you have in front of you and use them to take your eyes to the center of interest , or turn them into absolute protagonists. And remember the strength and curves in "S" and diagonals, are really powerful and have many emotions associated.
Diagonal line of Andreas Wecker
Resort to minimalism Less is more. Another premise that I will repeat as many times as necessary without losing my smile or my knuckles tremble as I type it. Less color and less elements translates into greater impact and more interest. One idea is to resort to the use of negative space to create a minimalist landscape of impact. The image above is a good example of minimalist landscape, but here I leave another one, other than for lack of inspiring examples
Minimalist landscape
Rhythm It's not about catching little birds singing the bals, but about including repeated elements that add rhythm to the image. Depending on the type of rhythm you capture, you can transmit different sensations. Everything you need to know about the visual rhythm you have here .
Visual rhythm

3. LOOK FOR THE FOG

If you're early, you're in luck, but if you're frolicking in bed you will have to make an extra effort, but it will be worth it. The fog gives a wonderful texture, a halo of mystery and gives the place a special atmosphere. While it is very rare, this makes it even more interesting. Do not miss the opportunity that presents itself for a few more minutes between the sheets! And follow these tips to photograph it
Foggy landscape

4. PRACTICE LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Long exposure water photographs have that dreamlike, unreal and hypnotizing point. The texture of the water is similar to that of a great painter's brush, the silky effect on your blank canvas will be silky . You can see it in the first two photographs and in the following:
Silky effect
Long exposure is not only for water, beyond the silky effect, you can capture spectacular skies or infarct cities.
Long exposition

5. USE FILTERS

Surely you have often seen a landscape in black and white and have remained with your mouth open and wondering how they will have achieved that effect. Well, beyond the composition, the sharpness or the use of depth of field, there is a trick that will give a completely different life to your landscapes, it is about filters. Landscape filters serve both to clarify the light and to provide greater drama. You can use polarizing or color filters. The truth is that on the latter I will tell you that it is much more comfortable to apply them with an editor than to carry a lot of different filters for each occasion. Of course, the fun is not the same in front of a computer than a large landscape What you will not get the same is a good control of the light through the filters if you do it in the edition instead of on the ground. Here you have everything you need to know about landscape filters .
Use filters

6. MAKE GOOD USE OF LIGHT

And speaking of light management, you should know that depending on the type of light you have, the landscape can change completely. The hard light of noon will help you to achieve high contrast landscapes full of drama. On the contrary, the diffuse light that cloudy days give you or the first and last hours of the day, are ideal for creating softer landscapes and transmitting feelings of peace. If what you want is to highlight textures, you will have to take advantage when the sun is falling, so that the shadows are cast in their maximum splendor highlighting any relief. The harder and more lateral the light, the more textures will stand out and the more realism your image will acquire. Light is a very powerful tool, learn to use it and your landscapes will have another dimension. Think about what you want to convey and plan your session for the time or day when the light is adequate.
Shot at noon

7. HIGHLIGHT TEXTURES

Textures are especially favored in monochrome images, offer them a special place in your image. In the previous point we talked about the light that highlights them most, now I will remind you that to soften the textures you use a diffused light and that the textures that you can enhance in a landscape are:
  • Stones
  • Sand
  • Tree trunks
  • Rocks
  • Very cloudy skies
  • Water (I have already told you about the silky effect )
  • Fog
If you get the viewer to perceive the rough touch of the trunk, the softness of that round stone or feel the fluffiness of the clouds, you will have conquered him without a doubt.
Textures

8. MONITOR THE ISO VALUE

In black and white photography, the noise that causes a high ISO value is much more evident. If you are not looking for it intentionally, looking for a specific effect, try to adjust the ISO to a level as low as possible.

9. INCLUDES CLOUDY SKIES

Many times we fall into the error of including a completely clear sky. In reality it is very nice to see an intense blue sky, but in a photograph it has no interest, and if it is in black and white, even less. If you want to give prominence to the sky, fill it with clouds so that it causes a strong visual impact.
Skies with clouds, the best option

10. LET YOUR IMAGE MOVE

You can provoke sensations through movement, a gentle breeze to feel just by seeing the image, a fall of vertigo, the speed of a city's cars ...
A moving image

11. FEEL IT

If you feel the landscape, your audience will too. We have mentioned some strategies to convey emotions with photography, but the most powerful tool is you. In addition to using the contrast tricks, light, composition, etc.… you will have to really feel what you are doing so that the viewer also feels it, leave part of your soul in the picture. That will not let you down. Never.
Feel the picture

12. PRACTICE

Another "trick" that we will repeat to satiety in the blog, it is the most infallible of all. Practicing is the only thing that will help you control all these tricks almost without thinking and find your own. With it you will be able to apply several of these strategies without realizing it and, best of all, it is the direct path to fun with your camera and to achieve stunning photographs.
Put into practice all these tricks
Thanks for reading here, if you liked it, you can help us by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Every shared article and every "Like" motivates us to keep writing for you. Until next time and ... we wait for your landscapes in black and white!

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