I was kindly asked to share some techniques regarding my last Black & White Sunday photo, so I thought that would make for a great blog tutorial. Plus in doing so it’s forcing me to have to explain my thought process which is always god - especially since I am still learning. So here we go!
It's all about the functions!
My dogs do a pretty great job at setting themselves up to be photographed, so I try not to do any forced manipulating with them. I just wait patiently for a perfect head turn or a great ear perk and take the shot. So what I do really focus on are my camera settings.
The camera I use is a Canon EOS 60D. You can read about the other gear used on this site here - About.
The first function I adjust is the Shooting Mode. The type of shooting mode I tend to stick with (because it’s safe) is the Program Mode - where the camera automatically sets the shutter speed and aperture to suit the subject’s brightness.
The next function I adjust is the picture style. This is where I can select Monochrome which creates black and white images.
The third function I adjust is the ISO speed - which measures the sensors sensitivity to light. I found my ISO set at 400 was good for tackling both the bright sunlight and the shadow effects that were being created by the blinds. This shot was also taken at 10am where the sunlight was coming in very bright.
The next thing I do is open my photo in PhotoShop (Elements) and make adjustments. For this particular photo I focused on making minor adjustments to the Levels. I started out by creating a new layer, then adjusting the Levels. Note - If you move the slider to the left it will lighten the shadows. If you move the slider towards the right it will bring back contrast. The photo didn't require a lot of manipulating, as I just wanted to make sure that the sunshine was not too bright and my shadows were not too dark.