Black and White Headshot

December 6, 2018

Here’s a rare black & white headshot taken in Clerkenwell, London. When I shoot portraits there are two things that I usually do and that’s shoot in colour and to photograph horizontal images but occasionally I’ll change that.

It isn’t an accident that I avoid shooting black & white images or vertical pictures but there are times when I do think that one of these unusual (for me) approaches might work and the photograph below is one of those times. A lot of people see black and white as more creative or slightly classier than colour photography but I don’t, what I do think this image gains from being black and white is the added intensity. It’s all about contrasts of light and dark, using the darkness of the background to create a deep blackness and in the process it draws attention to the face, the lighter side of the face.

And when I talk about contrast, the contrast is still controlled to add balance to the image. The darks are dark which meant I didn’t want the lights to be too light to avoid the contrast being to harsh and ugly. The white’s aren’t actually white at all, they’re grey which is a nice aesthetic. As the light falls into shadow on the left had side of his face (the right as we look at it) the light slowly turns into shadow presenting a delicious little grey scale.

Another thing to look out for with black & white photographs is the quality. A lot of people that edit in black and white are trying to hide something, an over exposed image, out of focus shot so more often than not a black & white is simply a badly taken photograph which is another reason why I choose not to produce black & white shots for fear of negative association but I’ve got nothing to hide with this picture. Hope you like it.



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Photo Heads can mostly be found photographing in London, sometimes in Bristol and occasionally elsewhere but we do travel throughout the UK and Europe.

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