21 Dec 2007

Black and white photography

I’ll be showing you lots of black and white pictures in these short articles. Partly because b/w has always been a great passion of mine, and partly because I have a vast library of b/w images from my time in newspapers. Certainly, a lot of my work for The Sunday Times was in b/w, and it’s good to share them with you.

My love of b/w photography is not the reason for showing you this picture. It’s to drive home something I’ve banged on about a couple of times recently – good timing – and the importance of keeping that camera to your eye when the subject is in front of you. Sounds obvious? Well you’d be surprised how many photographers miss the best shot because they are either looking down to fiddle with the camera controls, or watching the subject while their camera hangs around their necks. Don’t so it!

Whe the action happens, the camera has to be ready.

Had I been doing anything but look through the viewfinder when that one swan stretched its long neck, I would have missed the picture. The action was just too quick to be caught in the time it would have taken to lift the camera to my eye.

The picture also demonstrates the potential of ‘breaking the pattern’ to create a focal point and add interest. I’ll tell you more about that soon.
These are the famous Berwick swans, and the picture was used half page in The Sunday Times. It was taken with a Nikon F3 with a 180mm Nikkor f2.8 lens - one of the finest lenses Nikon every made.

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