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Weekly Mobile Photography Challenge #1: Black-and-White

  1. dsmonteiro Community Consultant Community Expert Jun 27, 2019

    dsmonteiro, Jun 27, 2019 :
    Photography-Challenge.jpg

    Hi there,

    I’m happy to introduce the first Weekly Photography Challenge. The idea behind it is simple – Each week, a new topic will be launched, inviting users to explore a specific style of photography. By doing so, I hope that we can all learn a bit more about the capabilities of our phones and challenge each and every one of you to try new ways to capture a subject. Learning by doing, if you will.

    To help with the task, we’ll invite a forum user to give a few tips about that week’s challenge and to share one of his photos to kickstart the thread.

    As the thread’s title hints, this week’s topic is black-and-white photography. In fact, considering that photography had a monochromatic beginning, this seems a perfect fit to start this series.

    @Dhruv Weaver, one of The Lab 7 Pro reviewers, shared the photo that you see above and shared the amazing tutorial that you can find below.

    Let’s get cracking! You have a week to share your best black-and-white photos with the Community. Don’t forget to mention which phone you used, how did you edit it and any additional information you might want to add.

    The best 10 photos will be awarded 100 raffle points that can be used to enter raffles. You can read more about it here.
     

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  2. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer Jun 27, 2019

    Stickied Post
    Dhruv Weaver, Jun 27, 2019 :
    Black and White Photography

    For this chapter of the Mobile Photography Challenge I'll show you how I edit photos I've taken on my phone to be punchy and detail rich black and white photos. Black and white photography has been around since the time of the first camera. With advancements in film and camera technology, color film became more prominent in the twentieth century. Now, just about everyone has a high-resolution, color, digital camera in their pocket or purse.

    But black and white is still a popular stylistic choice for good reason. I myself usually shoot a couple of rolls of black and white film every month for the following reasons. Black and white photos have much more of a kick to them; black and white is very powerful in that without the "distraction" of color, all that is left is the contrast and detail in the photo, both of which can be adjusted to make your monochromatic photos much more dramatic. It can also have the potential to make your image much more interesting. Like I said, colors can be distracting to the viewer, causing them to focus more on the colors in a scene than the scene itself (of course, color is important in its own way when it comes to utilizing it to help emphasize certain parts of an image). By shooting black and white photos, details and motion pop off of the frame. Shooting black and white, or shooting for black and white editing, is also a great way to challenge yourself when it comes to composition and general creativity.

    That's it for my thoughts on why you should shoot (for) black and white, how about how to take them? Like I stated earlier, it can be a challenge to compose photos with black and white in mind, especially since we see in color and typically take color photos. But my recommendation is to focus on capturing contrast. If you're shooting a light subject, try to put a dark background behind it, or vice-versa. The specific photo I've selected for this is a landscape. When considering how to compose a landscape photo to work for black and white I recommend looking for a scene with multiple "layers" of light. For example in this photo, the sky, trees, and grass all differ in their lightness.

    originalphoto.jpg

    Now that we have discussed the techniques for composing black and white photos, how about actually making them black and white? Editing style is very subjective, but in this part I will show you how I like to edit black and white photos.

    What you will need:

    This photo:https://drive.google.com/file/d/14w8G8l5axQK9afzIlDjPArdoIB_8FJXI/view?usp=sharing
    The free Snapseed app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.niksoftware.snapseed

    Let's get started!

    step1.jpg

    First, open the app and select the photo you would like to edit (I recommend you start by following along using my photo since your photo may look different). Then open the "Tools" menu and select "Tune Image".

    step2.jpg
    Next, adjust the basic editing values as shown in the left screenshot in the image above. What we're doing here is desaturating the photo, brightening the whole image, boosting the contrast, and then lowing the highlights and shadows to compensate for brightening the whole image. This will give us the basic punchy, contrasty look we're going for. Desaturate the image before you adjust the exposure levels since color can trick you into seeing different parts of the image as being of a different brightness, when they aren't. This will save you from having to edit the exposure levels again when you realize that, for example, the sky looks very flat. When you do this with your own images, the same edits we do here likely won't exactly work the same way, it's all about what looks good.
    After that, go into the "Curves" editor. We'll add a gentle S-Curve to the photo by pinning down the shadows and lifting the highlights area of the curve. This can be done by just tapping your finger on the line to place a point, and then dragging to adjust the position. This S-Curve just emphasizes what we did with our initial edit.

    step3.jpg
    Yet again we will throw in some more contrast. "Tonal Contrast" will let us add contrast to different levels of light individually. Do this to your heart's content, but less is better in most situations so you don't overdo it. I like lots of contrast in the mid and low tones, and just a little in the highs to make the sky pop a little better. Once you are happy with that, I recommend we recompose this shot a little bit, using the crop tool. I like a 3:2 aspect ratio because it looks most like that of a traditional film slide or digital sensor. Using this new aspect ratio, I can recompose a bit and have my dark trees surrounded by equal amounts of light.

    step4.jpg
    This next to last step is optional. You can add some fake film grain to the photo to give it a little more character. This menu will automatically apply a colored "style" - just turn this to 0 otherwise your photo won't be black and white anymore. And then just adjust the grain amount to find the right balance between clarity and grain.

    Lastly, save the final result. The best way to improve your photography is really through practice... so go out and shoot some photos!

    finalphoto.jpg
     

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  3. matthu.2711 The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer Jun 27, 2019

    matthu.2711, Jun 27, 2019 :
    Sounds good! Nice idea to give some tips and steps for producing better pictures. Thanks @Dhruv Weaver for the detailed tutorial! Definitely useful! Here's some B&W shots I've done.

    1561649908611.jpg

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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019

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  4. NarutoUzumaki007 Cupcake Jun 27, 2019

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  5. Azhar Syed Eclair Jun 27, 2019

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  7. Dunnow The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Jun 27, 2019

    Dunnow, Jun 27, 2019 :
    IMG_20190627_163230_685.jpg

    I just shot this yesterday night when I went for a drink, I saw the little guy on the other side of a frosted glass and got to snap him while he was doing crazy fast sprints up and down.

    Selected pro modo, set the focus and just chased him up and down until I got a shot.

    Used the OP 6t McLaren for this one

    The image is blurred due to the glass being frosted, which I liked when I turned the image to B/W as ir reminds me old film cameras and their sometimes, somewhat grainy results
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019

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  8. Dunnow The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Jun 27, 2019

    Dunnow, Jun 27, 2019 :
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    @otto2 will remember this one.
    I took this one with him when he was my host in Germany.

    I particularly like the zipper look of the shadow/light combination.

    Took this one with the OP6 The LAB review unit. I cannot recall if it was in manual or not. Low resolution because i had it on Instagram
     

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  9. G_Gautham_gr Cupcake Jun 27, 2019


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  11. nunovpc Eclair Jun 27, 2019

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  14. The1Lion Lollipop Jun 27, 2019

    The1Lion, Jun 27, 2019 :
    Darn! So close! :p. I'll have to try this later when I have time to walk through the lesson ;)

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  15. G_BenNy_tHa_PogV Eclair Jun 27, 2019

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  16. G_plusone Marshmallow Jun 27, 2019

    G_plusone, Jun 27, 2019 :
    IMG_20190624_125326-02.jpeg My first entry :D

    Was walking down the street and saw this Beauty took the OP3 and snapped it.
    Don't click pictures often though :oops:
     
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  17. Starcommander Jelly Bean Jun 27, 2019

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  18. kushaltrivedi54 Donut Jun 27, 2019

  19. maarten_lisboa The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Jun 27, 2019

    maarten_lisboa, Jun 27, 2019 :
    Great idea, a challenge is always nice.
    I love to edit my shots in black and white. Sometimes it gives that little extra accent that was missing with the original.

    Included 2 shots I did last week, oneplus 6T and edited to black and white in Snapseed.

    1561655597292.jpg

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  20. Iamrohit.07 Gingerbread Jun 27, 2019