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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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