I was quite looking forward to seeing what you could come up with for this, the black and white theme. As per usual, the quality of submissions was astounding. What makes me happiest however is that there seemed to be plenty of new names flooding into our inbox, along with some of the #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER regulars. It’s quite tough choosing which images make it, but I think I’ve come out with the absolute best submissions this month. If you still haven’t made it, please read the tips at the bottom of this post. There were quite a few submissions that we couldn’t include due to not including your name, forgetting to attach images etc. Don’t give up!
(Above) Choosing the featured image for this theme wasn’t particular easy. In the end, Brent Smith won out with this superb capture.
As will be demonstrated multiple times throughout the rest of this post, black and white photography isn’t just about a photograph with no colour.
Instead, it can often tell a story that colour distracts from.
It focuses your attention, and makes you look closer.
Black and white is, in my opinion, the purest form of photography.
I say that regardless if it’s digital or film.
On the surface of things, black and white looks a little easier than colour photography. You don’t have to worry about colour casts or misjudged white balances for starters.
When taking a photograph, you have a lot of things to worry about. By removing some of these, it allows you to focus more of your attention on what’s left.
Maybe shooting black and white is easier?
Maybe it’s all down to what you want to get from it?
In the digital age, shooting black and white is something we decide after we’ve photographed whatever we’ve set out to shoot. Is this is the wrong approach?
I think it is. Often when shooting, I’ll see a particular opportunity and know before I’ve pressed the shutter how I’m going to process and present it.
Converting a digital image to black and white requires its own unique skill set.
I’ve personally spent years trying to create my own black and white mix; it’s something which I still feel I’m a long way away from achieving the perfect result.
Without colour, you see a lot more in a black and white image. Those reflections running along the top of the panels could easily be missed in a colour presentation.
You can still use colour in black and white, albeit in a different manner, to tone the feeling of an image.
Contrast is a very important aspect, but controlling what details are viewable when in the shadows and highlights takes a lot of practice.
We had a couple of quality film submissions for this theme. I love the dynamic range here; it’s something that modern DSLRs are only just starting to catch up with.
That little bit of fine grain is something that I don’t think we can properly emulate digitally yet either.
But then, there is an awful lot to be said for super clean DSLR images. I absolutely adore this one.
Sometimes a quality black and white conversion adds a sense of authenticity to a scene…
… and sometimes it ups the amount of drama on show.
If you take anything from my ramblings today, please let it be this: black and white should never be an afterthought.
Consider your surroundings, the light and subject before squeezing the shutter.
Who knows, you might just end up with more than a photograph…
We created #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER to allow you the opportunity to share your skills and car culture experiences from around the globe with the rest of the Speedhunters audience.
How do you get involved? It’s simple…
Flickr - Join our #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER Flickr Group and share your favourite photos with us and others.
Instagram – Follow us on Instagram at @TheSpeedhunters and tag your own car culture images with #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER
Twitter – Follow us on Twitter at @SPEEDHUNTERS and share your tweets with the #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER hashtag.
Tumblr – Visit our Tumblr page to view the latest #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER tagged images.
E-Mail – If you’ve been to a cool event and captured some amazing images, be sure to e-mail them to us on email@example.com and tell us a little bit about the event. The images need to be a minimum of 800×533 pixels.
Have you submitted already but yet been featured? Here are some tips to help you…
DO – Tell us your name!
DO – Submit your best work, regardless of when it was taken
DO – Take your time shooting and consider each detail
DO – Try to submit each image no larger than 1000PX wide
DON’T – Put a huge watermark on it. We’ll make sure you’re credited
DON’T – Send us huge image files that kill our e-mail system
DON’T – Send us scary ZIP or RAR files
Thank you for selecting my photo! It's an honor to be featured on SpeedHunters alongside all these other amazing photos.
All of these pictures are amazing! Terrific job! But I think Brent Smith, Tobias Nykanen, Tim Hull, Oliver Selzer, Matt Conaghan, and Budd Stanley's shots really stood out to me personally. They just really made me appreciate what was in the picture and that is awesome. Thanks
Truly great pictures here! Thanks for including my shot as well, a great honour. The picture of Rens Adams is my favourite and unfortunately its dramatic, terryfying feeling matches the recent development at the Ring ...
A load of amazing work, and I love black and while film photography. I've been only buying black and white rolls lately
0_0!!! aw11 rear end...on a gorgeous pic...on speedhunters!!! triple win!!! gotta love these touge gokarts.
Matt Conaghan insane pic!!! Love the suspense feel it has. Like when you see your ride sitting in the garage with only a few days left for the event.
I'm no photographer but I think black and white works best when there's not too much detail. For example the second and third shot can't compare to the simplicity and beauty of shots 10, 16 and 20.
I really love the dramatic effects that B&W brings. The MINI Cooper dash, the garage scene (last pic) and the Lambo nose in particular. Great feature!
I love what you say about shooting black and white being the purest form of photography. I wholeheartedly agree!
"In the digital age, shooting black and white is something we decide after we've photographed whatever we've set out to shoot. Is this is the wrong approach?"I think that's statement of black and white being a decision in the processing portion of things is kind of a case by case situation. I take my DSLR out to shoot black and white about as often as I shoot color, and when one has in mind "I wan't to shoot black and white" or "I really want to capture color" that's how one is going to approach things. The process of composition should be exactly the same as shooting on film. Its not as if the image one sees looking through the view finder of a film camera loaded with black and white negative looks any different than that of a DSLR. Its more a matter of how you approach the photograph during composition. For me, and perhaps others, its a different thought process that goes into the shooting as opposed to a change in processing/printing.
'When taking a photograph, you have a lot of things to worry about. By removing some of these, it allows you to focus more of your attention on what’s left.Very well said.
@tebharding You're absolutely right. Although I still see a lot of black & white conversions that are created as an afterthought, or done with little care or consideration. I still think a lot of people don't understand black & white properly if I'm honest, the same people who think black & white is just a desaturated colour image.
I think we're in the minority with regards to the correct frame of mind when shooting.
@MatthewDear Yes, enjoyed the ramblings :D
@PaddyMcGrath @tebharding I typically will always shoot in color so I have that image available if I need it but I always keep in mind what aspects are good for a B&W image. Personally I find high contrast images work best in B&W along with avoiding certain colors as they tend to look 'muddy' and don't really pop.