When it comes to black and white photography, there’s something about shooting at night that pumps up the dramatics. Not only does the night sky provide a stark black backdrop, but streetlamps act as the perfect lighting to showcase alleyways, as if they were paintings in a museum.
In a quiet beach town, the blanket of night gives you the perfect opportunity to snap empty street shots that create a sense of stillness. By playing with the artificial light that lines the city streets, you can get a great range of gradients and shadows, which really compliment a black and white photo.
To achieve these black and white night shots, I set my Samsung NX mini camera into PROGRAM mode and applied an ISO 3200. Using the Classic Picture Wizard Filter, I could easily point and shoot, seeing my photos in black and white on my preview screen.
While many choose to shoot in color and then change their photos to black and white in post processing, using a filter is a great way to practice your black and white skills.
Why use a black and white filter?
- It cuts your post-processing time in half.
- It trains your eye to see in black and white.
- You know exactly what your picture is going to look like when you take it.
The only thing you really have to adjust when shooting with a filter in PROGRAM mode is your digital film speed (ISO). This refers how sensitive your camera’s image sensor is to light. In PROGRAM mode you are able to choose your own ISO and the camera will automatically adjust your shutter speed and aperture accordingly.
A higher ISO (ie. ISO 3200) means a faster film speed, and a higher sensitivity to light. This is great for low light situations because you can achieve non-blurry shots without a tripod. The only problem is the higher ISO you use the more you risk having a grainy photo, so you’ll need to test a couple of shots to find the right median.
With your Samsung NX mini at hand you can learn to hone your black and white photography skills in no time.