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What is monochrome photography?Contrary to popular belief, monochrome photography does not simply imply black and white photography or photographing in shades of grey. As the word suggests, monochrome, derived from the Greek word "monochromous," refers to "painting or drawing done in different tints of a single color," wherein "mono" means "single" and "khroma" means "color."
Hence, when one indulges in delivering photographs of any one hue, it constitutes monochrome photography.
So, that sepia you love so much?
That's right. Photographs in sepia are products of monochrome photography.
How cool is that?
So, how does one go about taking monochrome photographs?Before I was formally introduced to the world of photography, I thought you could only digitally convert photographs to black and white. Once I began to explore the camera, though, I realized that with a camera, you can directly capture monochrome photographs by changing a few easy settings.
However, this does limit your scope as a photographer.
What if you decide later that the scene would have looked way better in color than in black and white? What if the lighting would have appeared more pleasing had you not captured the image in sepia?
To steer clear of such possible regrets, it might be easier to originally capture the image in color and then use an image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.
What is even easier, though, is to use the photo editing applications available on your smartphone. Or, how about using your smartphone camera itself to capture those monochrome photographs?
But, why monochrome?During my photography journey, I came across certain photographs whose compositions I adored and wherein, all the elements had come together just as I wanted them to; however, the photograph was visually distracting. Why? There were just too many colors present for the photograph to guide the viewer towards the subject! The end result? An average photograph with no clear objective. Hence, I decided to experiment by converting the photograph to black and white. And, voila! That mere tweak completely transformed some of the images. Not only were they more appealing now, but they also finally began to make sense.
Often, we are so caught up in capturing photographs in color that we tend to put off experimenting with black and white. Converting photographs to black and white, observing the effect and then deciding if the final image is worth it can be time-consuming. Imagine doing that for all of the photographs that you capture! The mere thought can be exhausting. Thus, if you really want to try out your hand at monochrome photography and get creative with it, you may find it more satisfying to dedicate yourself to only capturing monochrome photographs for a certain time period and see where it leads you.
The field of photography, in itself, is limitless.
Only we decide the limits.
Therefore, go explore and be creative!
Churn out those visually attractive monochrome images, ones which beg a second look.
Written by Priyanshi Sheth
"Namaste!" from a creative, Indian soul who aims to keep herself motivated as she writes, travels, photographs, and thereby, shares her knowledge.