USING CONTRAST TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS:

trees during sunset

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Understanding how contrast works can greatly improve your photos. There are several kinds of contrast to talk about. Let’s go through them:

CONTRAST BETWEEN DARK AND LIGHT:

Photos that have some major differences between dark and light can greatly improve some of your photos. Some photos, of course, should not have much contrast at all, and learning how to see the light in your frame is what you need to look for. Black and white photos are often used a lot to create great contrast, and that is why black and white will be around for a long time. It is because the better the contrast between dark and light, or the blacks and the whites are what makes a good black and white photo. For more information about how to do black and white successfully try going to this site: https://123photogo.com/2021/11/22/reasons-to-try-black-and-white/

CONTRAST IN COLOR PHOTOS:

To get good contrast in color photos, shadows have to play a big part in your photo. When you take a picture at noon, there is just not much shadows that look good. They are short and really add nothing to the photo. However, taking photos, say, at the Golden Hour, your shadows are long, and makes the photo look amazing. If you want good contrast in your photos, look to shoot in morning or sunset.

white and brown trees on forest during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

CONTRASTING COLORS ARE ANOTHER INTERESTING WAY TO SHOW CONTRAST:

yellow balloon on blue background
Photo by Deeana Arts on Pexels.com

Bold dynamic colors are a great way to really get someone excited about contrast. This is just an example of how you take a bright color, and mix it with a dark color. Here are some more examples of contrast in color:

red and white petaled flowers
Photo by João Jesus on Pexels.com

Putting a brilliant color with a dark background is perfect. It’s not a black background, but a complimentary dark green color, and that is what makes this photo so amazing. This may be a practice of “Seeing Light”. Check this out: https://123photogo.com/2017/05/07/understanding-light-in-photography/

lady in beach silhouette during daytime photography
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Of course, a silhouette is a great way to get contrast in your photos. This is done by just making sure there is a strong light behind your subject (the sun is a popular way to do this). And you can create your own source for doing silhouettes. Like this photo:

silhouette photo of woman
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

For more information about shooting silhouettes, go to: https://123photogo.com/2021/11/24/learn-how-to-do-amazing-silhouette-photos/

CONCLUSION:

There are obviously a lot of different ways to do contrast in photography. Look at the above examples and pick the one you would like to master.

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BLACK AND WHITE OR COLOR?

As I read from other photographers about whether they should make a photo black and white or color, I think that maybe they overdo it a bit in the black and white option.

To me, black and white is not something that looks good as an everyday photo. I love to take pictures of old barns, or something that looks old, and make it look black and white. The two photos above are a perfect example. I found this old run down farm yard in a very old town, and created it both ways. And to me, this is a perfect example of what should be in black and white.

However, referring back to some of the photos that have won the annual “ART OF BLACK AND WHITE” Series (see: https://123photogo.com/gallery-end-of-2020/ ) there are many photos that qualify for black and white, IF done with the right amount of contrast and feeling.

This is one of those photos in the Gallery on my main page here. And notice the mood of the photo.

Here is how I feel you could or should do a black and white photo over color: IF IT LOOKS BETTER IN BLACK AND WHITE, THEN DO IT. IF IT LOOKS AS GOOD IN BLACK AND WHITE AS COLOR, THEN DO IT, AND LET THE VIEWERS DECIDE WHICH ONE THEY WANT TO PAY FOR.

I found another photographer on YouTube that talks about color vs. black and white. Please watch this video and then give me your feedback below.

A great video about “black and white vs. color”

NEW WEBSITE AFFILIATED WITH 123PHOTOGO: https://lannycottrellphotography.com/

6 NEW PENTAX K3 MARK III CAMERAS ANNOUNCED. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN ABOUT THE FUTURE OF CAMERAS?

NEW Pentax K-3 Mark III Jet Black (Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)

PENTAX AND LEICA ANNOUNCE NEW VARIATIONS TO THEIR CAMERAS!

Manufacturing of cameras has taken an interesting turn in production. Who would have thought that you could get a camera in a variety of versions of your favorite model.

UPDATE: New reports suggest that no fewer than six different versions of the Pentax K-3 Mark III are in development, including dedicated monochrome and astrophotography models. 

Additional coverage of the company’s online presentation, held in Japan in December 2021, indicates that the Pentax K-3 Mark III will come in six variants: one with a gunmetal finish, a version with a modified shutter release button, a manual focus version, a monochrome model, and an astro model (as reported by Pentax Rumors). And as shown above, a model that is Jet black.

The translated event report reveals that the jet black model will be completely black, including the logo and all engravings. The “shutter stroke change model” is designed for faster shooting with a shallower shutter stroke. The K-3 Mark III MF will be entirely dedicated to manual focus, while the gunmetal model will resemble the base color of the original K-3 Prestige Edition. 

New Pentax K3 in Gunmetal finish

ORIGINAL STORY (02 Dec 2021):Rumor has it that Ricoh is considering an expansion of the Pentax K-3 Mark III product line by adding a monochrome camera as well as an ‘Astro’ variant. 

It might seem strange to release a black-and-white version of the Pentax K-3 Mark III, which would on paper appear to challenge cameras like the Leica M-10 Monochrom, but an astrophotography version makes more sense.

The news comes from a report by Digital Camera Info, keeping track of several different online events that were held recently by Ricoh Imaging in Japan. The report shows that the Japanese outlet Ten Riff had been tweeting updates mentioned in Ricoh’s Pentax Meeting Online 2021. 

It was supposedly announced in the online meeting that Ricoh is “considering a derivative model of the K-3 Mark III equipped with a monochrome sensor… K-3 Mark III Monochrome: uses a monochrome sensor without a color bayer filter… Achieves natural resolution and noise-like image quality without bayer complementation”.

blue pink and white andromeda galaxy way
Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

The translated tweets may not convey a perfect description, but it is evident that a lot of thought has gone into the design of these potential models. Further tweets tell us that “Pentax [Ricoh] is considering a model for astronomical objects ‘K3 Mark III Astro’… to prevent infrared voyeurism? It is a premise to make a pledge that ‘it will be used only for astronomical photography… general shooting is not possible’.” 

The meeting also revealed that a calibration-free update to the K-3 Mark III’s Astrotracer feature – which uses the camera’s sensor shift stabilization in tandem with an optional GPS module to shoot trail-free astrophotography – will be provided in a firmware upgrade expected in spring 2022. 

The Astro model supposedly has a Hα (hydrogen-alpha) sensitivity of x10, so it’s likely that nebula will photograph well using this proposed camera. A hydrogen-alpha filter is commonly used among other filters in astrophotography kits to assist in photographing deep sky objects in what’s called true-color or broadband. 

Here’s hoping that Ricoh will officially announce these new progressive models in the coming months, but we should probably practice our backyard astrophotography in the meantime. 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO FUTURE SERIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS?

With the introduction of these variations of cameras, it looks like the DSLR market is going to be something that a lot of other serious scientists, and specialized photographers may come out of the woodwork and consider. Meant to do things that other camera manufactures only think about.

And one that I find particularly interesting is their model that only shoots black and white. I have done a special every year showcasing some amazing black and white artists. https://wordpress.com/view/123photogo.com And every year I find this collection of black and white photos, they get better and better all the time. For those who really love black and white, their dream camera may have just appeared from Pentax.

With this announcement, photography becomes even more exciting!

This is a rugged, metal-bodied DSLR with a magnesium alloy body, 300,000-shot shutter life and 12fps continuous shooting. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

This original Pentax model was the first to come out with an ISO range of up to 1,600,000! And shooting at that ISO setting has people realizing they can now shoot anywhere.

Today’s article is compliments of Digital Camera World, and Lanny Cottrell

THE “ART OF BLACK AND WHITE” series 7

Photo by Joren Aranas on Unsplash – This photo was found on the free photo website: “Unsplash” where photographers share their photos and just looking for some recognition. I am glad to recognize this amazing black and white photo.
Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash — What makes this photo so amazing, is that we have all see something like this in color. But, in black and white, it’s even more dramatic. How perfect the exposure is as well. Shows off what light there is very well.
Photo by Jack Chamberlin —- Jack is one of my favorite photographers. On Facebook, he is always putting on some amazing black and white photos. Interesting enough is that he uses infrared technology to create the black and whites that he does. The contrast that infrared puts out is amazing, but, Jack has truly made this an art. He is one that you could follow on Facebook. Just go to: https://www.facebook.com/jack.chamberlin.10
This is another amazing photo from Jack Chamberlin. He titles this photo “Dragon Landings”. I love the sepia tone he put to this photo, and it makes the cut to be in our annual exhibit.
Photo by Andrew Whitmore —– To get some really sharp black and white photos, you certainly can’t go wrong with photos of architecture. Actually, I went through a lot of architectural photos before I selected one, and this one from Andrew Whitmore one best black and white architectural photo.
Photo by Drew Hays —— I don’t normally pick many portraits as a great black and white photo, but, there were a lot of portraits this time that are just winning black and white portraits. The exposure, the use of light, all that is what makes this photo a great photo / portrait.

In case you missed it, I did an article titled: “Reasons to Try Black and White”. If you haven’t taken any or only a few black and white photos, go to: https://wordpress.com/post/123photogo.com/26109 and read this great article about black and white making a big comeback, and why.

Photo by Everton Vila – With this dark background and the white wedding dress, this seemed to be a natural to be a great black and white photo. No face showing with this, just a beautiful dress, and accentuated with the dark background. Truly a winning photo.
Photo by Geran De Kler for Unsplash —- As I looked at this photo, I actually had a hard time seeing this in color. It’s like the cat just came out of the dark to come and attack you. What a great photos of a battle-torn leopard.
Photo by Gian D – How dare I take a flower and award it as a winner in a black and white exhibit. Yup! I did it. The fun thing about this photo is that it is just starkly beautiful without color, and now it leaves you guessing what color it is.
Photo by Gift Habeshaw —– Here is another portrait, and I think it is actually a self portrait, I could be wrong, but, I was impressed with how careful he was with the lighting. And especially to highlight the hair like he did, truly makes this a great portrait / black and white winning photo.
Photo by Glen Carrie — We have had a few real dark photos above, and now this one that comes out really light. This is one of those photos that does amazingly well with “negative space”. I think this is just a classy photo and I can see this one hanging on a wall.

Want to see last years winning black and white photos? I have a special page we post these winning photos for 1 year. So, these photos are about to be taken down from the main menu page. But, until January 15th, 2022, these photos will be on display, and then removed so these photos will go in it’s place. Go to: https://123photogo.com/gallery-end-of-2020/ to see more amazing black and white photos.

Photo by Jakub Kolesa – from Unsplash —— Winter can be such a great time to do black and white photos. The snow white covering and the dark wood on the trees, makes it an easy job. Love the composition on this photo. The fog and mist makes it even a better photo.
Photo by Joakim Honkasalo – When we get into the night photos, capturing the light is an amazing way to make it happen. This is called “Seeing the light” or “seeing the Art”. Well done photo. By the way, if this was taken with color, the lighting would have a real weird color. Black and white was definitely the choice here.
Photo by Jorge Salvador – —- – Another great photo of a tree with the mist or fog in the background. It just tends to blur out the background so nicely that it makes the tree look like it’s having a portrait done.
Photo by Nathan Duimeo —– I didn’t see a title to this photo, but, I would probably title it: “Working Hands”. And with this being in black and white, makes these hands look more dirty, more worn, etc. Black and white makes this photo work so well. Perfect choice to do this in black and white.

Did you know that black and white is becoming so popular that there are 2 camera manufactures making a camera that strictly shoots in black and white? You have to read about this: go to: https://wordpress.com/post/123photogo.com/26521

Photo by Paolo Aguilar – For Unsplash —– I don’t know if this photo was taken a hundred years ago or just recently. And that is the beauty of this photo. To recreate a photo just like it was a hundred years ago, when all there was, was black and white. A beautiful portrait of a newlywed couple, this photo does amazingly well for creating the perfect black and white photo.
Photo by Shahin Kahalji —– This photo was my first pick to go in this gallery today. The exposure on this photo was so perfect. A lot of times when photos of people are done in black and white, their skin tones are white. And this one has a beautiful gray tone in which to give it the look of a perfect exposure. So, this is one amazing portrait.
Photo by Simon Lohmann —– I don’t know where this is, but, it is some amazing architecture of some place that has amazing shaped buildings. And that makes it look so good this way. A mighty nice capture of abstract shapes.
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BLACK & WHITE MAKES HEADLINES

BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY IS AN ART FORM THAT SEEMS TO BE THRIVING IN THE PHOTOGRAPHIC WORLD

Next week, the week of December 5th, this website (123photogo) presents it’s annual “THE ART OF BLACK AND WHITE – VOLUME 7”. This presentation is a collection of some of the best black and white photos I have found recently on the internet. There is some great talent in black and white photography, so, it’s only fitting we highlight those photographers.

RICOH (PENTAX) CHALLENGES LEICA TO A BLACK AND WHITE CAMERA ONLY.

From Digital Camera world, comes this new information:

Ricoh could be set to challenge Leica with a monochrome-only K-3 Mark III, and another designed solely for astrophotography.

It might seem strange to release a black-and-white version of the Pentax K-III, which would on paper appear to challenge cameras like the Leica M-10 monochrome, but an astrophotography version also would be fun.

The news comes from a report by Digital Camera Info, keeping track of several different online events that were held recently by Ricoh Imaging in Japan. The report shows that the Japanese outlet Ten Riff had been tweeting updates mentioned in Ricoh’s Pentax Meeting Online 2021.

A MONOCHROME SENSOR?

It was supposedly announced in the online meeting that Ricoh is “considering a derivative model of the K-3 Mark III equipped with a monochrome sensor… K-3 Mark III Monochrome: uses a monochrome sensor without a color bayer filter… Achieves natural resolution and noise-like image quality without bayer complementation”.

LEICA M-10 MONOCHROM

The Leica M10 Monochrom opens the door to a new dimension of black-and-white photography. Equipped with a newly developed image sensor, the camera delivers an extremely high-quality rendition with breathtaking detail resolution.

The absence of a color filter array and exceedingly high sensor resolution of 40 megapixels result in an unprecedented depiction of even the finest details, along with an exceptionally natural-looking sharpness.

This information is courtesy of DIGITAL CAMERA WORLD, My source for all the latest information in photography.
Information about the new Leica m-10 monochrome, is from Leica.com

DON’T MISS: “THE ART OF BLACK AND WHITE – SERIES 7, COMING NEXT WEEK! THE BEST BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS EVER.

REASONS TO TRY BLACK AND WHITE:

grayscale photo of girl in black shirt
Photo by Elizaveta Dushechkina on Pexels.com

Have you ever thought about doing BLACK AND WHITE? Don’t you think it’s interesting that the best photographers are almost always doing some black and white along with their color?

The one reason, I can think of is that for some reason, black and white has remained something artistic in the art world. Getting a good black and white photo is actually harder than some color. Getting the contrast just right, the proper exposure, etc. is all part of doing good black and white photos.

Let’s look at some reasons why you should try black and white:

1. Black and white helps you see differently:

First of all, black and white has been around a long time. And the interesting thing is that once Kodachrome came into place, many photographers still preferred shooting in black and white. Even the famous photographers, like Ansel Adams, shot black and white almost exclusively.

Ansel Adams shot black and white and did it because he had to think about different things with black and white.

One reason is that black and white presents interesting creative problems. The world looks different in black and white, which means that you can think about tone, texture, and light in new ways. In fact, when you remove color, the emphasis of an image naturally shifts to other compositional elements.

For some photographers, this can feel freeing; you’re no longer stuck thinking constantly about color but can instead focus on the more fundamental aspects of photography: tone and light.

To see the most amazing collection of today’s best photographers, 123PhotoGo, has a website with a gallery of just “black and white” photos. To see the artistic side of black and white, go to: https://123photogo.com/gallery-end-of-2020/

As you’re probably aware, not all great color images will translate well to black and white. But the inverse is also true: certain images that look great and black and white won’t look good in color, which means that you’ll have a whole new set of photo opportunities to contemplate.

monochrome photo of desert
Photo by Dave Drost on Pexels.com

Ultimately, this emphasis on tone and light over colorful hues will help you see the world differently – and may even result in a brand-new photographic style.

2- YOU ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS WITH BLACK AND WHITE:

Color itself can take away emphasis on contrast, texture, lighting, shape, and form. If you’re photographing a weathered man with a face full of wrinkles, black and white will highlight the texture of the wrinkles, the intensity of the man’s age. Whereas color will simply distract the viewer and prevent them from seeing what the photo is all about.

Black and white will also eliminate those funny color casts that often occur on some color photos. You just don’t get distracted by those issues.

3- BLACK AND WHITE OFFERS SOME NEW CREATIVE CHOICES:

grayscale photo of a polar bear cub
Photo by Robert Anthony Carbone on Pexels.com

Since the world is in color, it is safe to say that color photography is more realistic and descriptive. A color photo depicts the world as it really is – whereas black and white photos only show a version of reality, one that seems more interpretive and creative.

In a sense, this can help you break free from certain restraints. Without color, you don’t have to show the world as it is; instead, you can show what you see, which might involve unusual relationships, interesting shadows, beautiful textures, and so on.

Ultimately, when you take away color, you remove what your viewer is used to seeing. Suddenly, you have to capture the viewer’s attention without the help of color – which also means that you’re free to have fun, experiment, and show the world in a completely new, creative way.

So in a way, black and white forces you to think, but it makes you more creative in the process.

greyscale photography of woman holding umbrella
Photo by Kha Ruxury on Pexels.com

4- Black and white adds emotion and mood to the photo:

Take a look at the photos used in this blog so far. Do you have any sense of emotion or mood? Do you feel anything when you look at these photos?

Personally, I think black and white photos almost always create a wonderful mood – or in cases where the mood is already present, the B&W conversion makes it even more intense.

Why does black and white photography go hand in hand with moodiness? I’m not completely sure, but something about tonal range, rich blacks, and deep contrast just appeals to us psychologically. It creates an emotional connection, and it makes you stop, look around, and pay attention.

Photo by Artemios Karavas / The Art of Black and White

5- BLACK AND WHITE FEELS TIMELESS

Here’s a common reason why photographers shoot in black and white:

It adds a timelessness to your images.

For one, black and white photography has existed since the beginnings of photography, which means that a black and white image cannot instantly be dated. Also, color schemes change over time, especially in clothing, business logos, cars, and architecture. Therefore, a color image will often include datable elements – but in black and white, these features may be much harder to place.

Personally, I feel that black and white photos seem to transcend reality. Look at the image below. Can you tell when it was taken? Is it a recent shot? Is it from 50 years ago? Or does it exist outside of time?

That’s the power of black and white!

CONCLUSION:

Now that you’ve finished this article, you’re hopefully convinced that black and white is worth trying.

To get started, switch your camera over to its Monochrome mode. Spend time experimenting with black and white. Learn to see with new eyes!

To see the most amazing collection of today’s best photographers, 123PhotoGo, has a website with a gallery of just “black and white” photos. To see the artistic side of black and white, go to: https://123photogo.com/gallery-end-of-2020/

Much of this article was written originally by: Nisha Ramroop

Looking for a specific photographic subject. Check this out:

THE 2021 WAY TO DO PEOPLE PHOTOS

Photo by Taylor Wright on Unsplash

As time goes on, it’s obvious that the way to take portraits, or people pictures changes. Today, I want to go through some “People” photos and see if you like this new trend.

Is the formal portrait gone? I don”t think so. But, I find it interesting that the photographers who have a portrait studio, spend a lot more time out of their studio, than in it. Now the only thing they use their studio for is “still photography”.

Photo by Stow Kelly on Unsplash

It seems that most photos, the people are interacting with another person, or doing something they like to do. The above photo is a great example of interacting with someone else. Two sisters want a nice picture of themselves, and they show their bond, by the touch of hands.

Photo by Stephen Andrews on Unsplash

It seems that getting a cute photo of children has changed too. Getting a photo of them involved in playing has been a winning photo. That magazine has him focused. And, it shows the child in his environment, the place he is comfortable in.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The more casual portrait is also the new “Norm”. Dressed up in their everyday clothes, no serious posing, a comfortable smile, and you have the new Male Portrait.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Is black and white dead? Oh no! Black and White has become more popular in the last few years. It seems that this is the way the artistic photos are being used. A good black and white print, if done right, is absolutely stunning. Worth trying.

Often a good picture of a person today is the use of props. What makes that person comfortable, or what have they personally created, or even with a pet:

Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash
Tomorrow, I’ll go into the proper way or form of posing people. Even though these photos are just casual photos, if you don’t get their body posed right, this won’t work either. Come back tomorrow.

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DAY 10 – LEARNING BASIC PHOTO SKILLS: “ARCHITECTURE” & “MONOCHROME”

Day Ten: “Architecture” — Go Monochrome

From the geometry of skyscrapers to the ironwork on historical buildings, there are many opportunities to capture the beauty and complexity of architecture.

Walk through this intricate, organic doorway of La Pedrera, a famous building by architect Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, Spain:

Perhaps there’s a grand spiral staircase at your favorite museum. A stunning Art Deco movie theater in your town. Or a futuristic micro-house on your block. How will you interpret this theme?

Today’s Tip: As we explored yesterday, color is a powerful element in photography. But black and white, or monochrome, can also be very dramatic. Today, look for architectural elements that translate into black and white: sharp lines, patterns, defined shapes, large surface areas, and a mix of very light and very dark colors.

Day Ten: “Architecture” — Go Monochrome

When we talk about monochrome in photography, we’re referring to images developed or executed in black and white or in varying tones of only one color.

Today, think about how black, white, gray, and the shades in between can interact in your frame in dynamic ways. As you compose your architecture shot, look for sharp lines, distinct patterns, defined shapes, large surface areas, and very light and very dark colors.

Compare the color and monochrome versions of today’s featured image — the lines, shapes, and surfaces come alive in both versions in different ways:

color versus monochrome
Photographer Merilee Mitchell, who blogs at The Gravel Ghost, often shoots in black and white:

It’s difficult to describe in words, but I innately know what something will look like in black and white. I see things geometrically: I sense large shapes in view, I see “values” (the degree of lights and darks) in a shot, and I know how they will translate.

If you’ve never shot in black in white, many devices and phone cameras let you switch to black and white shooting mode right in the camera. In the iPhone, for example, select the Mono, Tonal, or Noir settings to shoot in monochrome.

Or, shoot in color and convert your images to black and white (or grayscale) after you shoot, which is how Merilee works. You can convert your image in Photoshop or a free image editor like PicMonkey, GIMP, or Pixlr Express. The change is simple — for example, in PicMonkey, select “Colors” and then adjust the lever under “Saturation” to remove the color. Or, in Pixlr Express, click on “Adjustment,” then “Color,” and adjust the bar under “Saturation” to remove the color.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s blog: “Getting your photo right the first time”. Back when film was king, you had to take the picture right the first time. Colorful, light corrected, and rich in color. There was no “Post Processing”. But, photos were just beautiful, and contrast was perfect, and the skies were rich blue. How was that done? And can it be done right that way now? Read tomorrows article.

Today’s special:

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