There’s something about black & white photography that never gets old. In a digital age where we can create virtually any images we want with colours that pop beyond belief, we still have an almost romantic longing for black & white photos.
Sometimes experimenting in post-production with compositions in soft shades of grey, dark contrasty blacks and cool whites we can completely change the tone or mood of a picture in way that wouldn’t work for a colour image. It can evoke a mood from nostalgia to sadness to gritty and modern and convey emotions in a way that colour images simply can’t. Black & white images can be distraction free, refreshingly simple and often it’s easier to interpret the main focus of the picture.
For me, whether it’s families or dogs I’m photographing I love to provide my clients with both options, beautiful colour and black & white images. Whilst both offer their own uniqueness of what the image portrays, I find that with black & white there is a timeless classic interpretation that never dates.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post – if you would like to see more inspiration from other professional photographers within the #collaborationnotcompetition project then feel free to visit any of the websites below:
Anna Hurst Photography
Catriona Mairi Photography
Charles Thorne Photography
Clare Harding Photography
Derya Vicars Photography
Hannah Cornford Photography
Helen Rowan Photography
Jo Haycock Photography
Photography by Leela
Light Monkey Photography
Louisa French Photography
Lynne Harper Photography
Mel Wilson Photography
Nadine Brandt Photography
Sarah Gibson Photography
Danielle Reeder Photography
Tor Keene Photography
Nina Mace Photography
Each month I enter three dog photos into the ‘pet’ category of the Guild of Photographers Image of the Month competition. When I started entering my photos I did it out of curiosity, but it grew into something way bigger and today I got not 1, not 2 but 3 Silver Awards! For those that know me, I’m pretty competitive, especially so when the only person I’m competing with is myself, I’m all about self-improvement. From my first month of entering the IOM in 2017 and winning my first award, I got totally hooked.
There’s a difference between shooting for competition and shooting for clients, namely the technical aspect. A client wants amazing photos that capture their loved ones and provide forever memories, whereas for comp judges are looking for impact and technical excellence and it’s in entering these monthly competitions I’ve been able to learn, improving my technical skills whether in camera or post production, really pushing myself to achieve some great results.
Entries to IOM are assessed by very experienced Judges in accordance with national competition judging criteria and are graded as follows:
A Platinum Bar .. Images of exceptional or outstanding quality (only awarded to the ultimate of images) No one has actually been awarded a Platinum yet!
A Gold Bar .. Images of particular distinction (very rare)
A Silver Bar .. Images that are very well crafted (difficult to achieve)
A High Bronze .. not far from a Silver
A Bronze Bar .. Images of a strong standard at a national competition level
Entering competitions is a great way to push your boundaries and help you improve, it could be your profession or a favourite hobby such as golf, cooking, writing, running etc. but once you start competing it’s pretty hard not to get the bug – oh and you get to make friends with loads of like-minded people too. What’s not to like!