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by Aditya

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Is it better to take photos for intended black and white images during the daylight hours or in the evening? I really like landscapes that have a good contrast when it comes to the clouds and skyline compared to an image for example that has a more solid coloured sky.

I intend to take the photos as normal and then edit them in Photoshop to achieve the black and white effect. I do however want the best possible original to work with so I want to take the photos at the correct time of day.

I would imagine that some of the best b&w photos are taken during the day but I wanted to get some other opinions on the matter.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

To paraphrase a line from "The Unsinkable Molly Brown", "Only shoot by day or night or somewhere in between".

In my opinion there really isn't a 'best' time for B&W- it depends on what your vision is of the particular scene you want to shoot.

Want a dark sky for architectural or fluffy cloud shots? Shoot during the day and kill the blue channel in post when you convert.

Want a dramatic skyline shot? Shoot early evening when there's still a little light in the sky but the city lights have appeared.

I've seen some interesting landscapes taken by the light of a full moon- the clouds are motion blurred by the long exposure times.

Again, there really isn't an all-around 'best' time- there is only a time that matches your vision for the subject.

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To be honest I rarely shoot black and white, but when I do I usually do it in the camera itself, that way I'm more confident with the result. that way you can see the result in camera's LCD even before taking the picture, then all you have to do is to test different times of day with different weather! I think it's really a matter of taste, just go out and try it yourself.

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I'm not sure that the specifics of B+W are all that different than shooting color, especially if you want good contrast and lighting.

Shooting around dawn or dusk gives you much better light and much better contrast. The noon sun gives harsh light and unflattering angles. Since the landscape doesn't move, you will find that the first hour and the last hour of the day let you take much more interesting photos. Google "golden hour" for more information.

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