Black and White Photography – Lines and Shadows

Two of the things I look for when shooting in black and white are lines and shadows. Over the years I’ve found that subjects with great lines and interesting shadows really look good in black and white.

Last week I received an email from a reader basically asking what went through my mind as I approached a shot like this. In the days of using black and white film I would have said “f/8 at 1/250th” but with today’s evaluative metering systems, getting a good first exposure doesn’t really enter my mind yet. All I really concentrate on is composition for the first few shots knowing that the camera’s meter will give me a good starting point and the LCD will help me fine tune as needed.

I thank the Lord that the days of counting exposures on a roll of Tri-X are over and I can “play” with the exposure compensation to my heart’s content. I think this one took me about a dozen before I got a shot that looked halfway decent!

Victorian Yard

Victorian Yard
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D set on aperture priority (Av) with highlight tone priority enabled, using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM hand-held. The exposure was taken at 17mm, f/11 for 1/200th of a second at ISO 200 on Sandisk digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2 and Photoshop Elements using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro filters. Click on the image above for a larger version.

7 thoughts on “Black and White Photography – Lines and Shadows

  1. i love your photography! i am inspired by you to follow my dreams and take good pictures. thankyou!

    gege low

  2. I’m with Burstmode. This setting and composition is fantastic. I learn so much coming over to your blog.

    • Thanks Mark! Coming from a world famous noir model like you (Hot Shoe Diaries page 168, double-truck on pages 200-201) that’s high praise. You know I’m never gonna let you live this down buddy!


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