This week we’ll explore another key aspect of Black and White photography – Contrast. For this challenge you’re looking for shots with a dramatic difference between the lightest part of the image and the darkest part of the image. Many photos have contrast that ranges from black to white, but you are looking for shots where that contrast is one of the defining elements of the shot.
Diffrent Bridge//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
You could just up the contrast in your image editing software, but that’s really not the point of the challenge. The challenge is in finding a shot that naturally has a lot of contrast. You don’t need to find something with absolute black and absolute white, just something with a stark contrast between the light and dark areas.
For this challenge you really need to try to view the subject in black and white. As you move through the spectrum of visible light, each color translates into gray scale differently. Reds tend to be darker than blues. You’ll need to experiment and figure out how what you see in color translates to the most contrast in black and white.
Black and white church Iceland//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Some scenes and subjects will make obvious shots for this challenge, but you may need to get creative and make your own shot. Adjusting contrast in software is fine, as long as you start with a shot that already has a lot of contrast.
Light Box Body - Hand//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Pictureline has excellent blog post on principles of black and white photography with a section on contrast. It’s well worth the read, not just for this challenge, but for all black and white photography.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.