How to shoot black and white photography in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Every one of us have an innate need to connect with our environment, and the way we do that will differ from person to person. Sometimes, we’ll do that by reading a book; other times, we might want to watch some local performers; and occasionally, we may want to hit the streets and shoot some black and white photography with our Leica camera in Causeway Bay. It’s this last activity that I want to focus on today—and show you how it can help you improve your photography skills and experience your environment on another level entirely.
Keep it simple - minimal equipment, minimal shots
It's amazing how you can use so little equipment (and make such stunning photographs) with minimal shots. When I'm walking around on a Sunday afternoon shooting Leica photography in Causeway Bay, I tend to just take one or two shots each of people who walk past. Although I could take lots more photos of these people, it's often unnecessary when all that is required is one great shot. The same goes for Leica Causeway Bay street scenes - rather than taking dozens of shots from different angles, my aim is always to get one or two shots that really capture what I was trying to show. And if you're looking for inspiration for your own Leica photography, check out my latest Leica street photography images taken in Causeway Bay below:
I took about ten frames of her as she walked by but only kept three - they are all good but this one shows her face clearly and has nice contrast between her hair and shirt. This image was taken at f/2 which gives a shallow depth-of-field, blurring out most of the background except for some texture from a fence post behind her. Taken with Leica M 240 using 35mm Summilux lens at ISO 200, 1/640th second exposure. Click on photo to see it larger:
Leica M 240 with 35mm Summilux lens at ISO 200, 1/500th second exposure. Click on photo to see it larger:
I like how you can tell he's looking down towards his phone screen - that's what makes him look distracted or even sad (which he may well be). Taken with Leica M 240 using 50mm Noctilux lens at ISO 800, 1/125th second exposure. Click on photo to see it larger:
Leica M 240 with 50mm Noctilux lens at ISO 800, 1/125th second exposure.
Focus on the fundamentals
To me, black and white is all about focusing on fundamentals—the nuts & bolts of photography. If you know what you're doing when it comes to these elements (tones of grey, quality of light, contrast, composition and texture), you can quickly produce beautiful photographs without even thinking about it. As with color photography (or any other kind), there are many lenses from which to choose when shooting black and white; I tend to favor a lens with a shallow depth-of-field for my street work because I'm drawn to images that have lots of background/foreground blur. Black & White also has just as much emotion as color — although it may appear less obvious — because grey tones convey different feelings than their colored counterparts. In fact, some photographers consider black and white to be more pure than color. In a world where everything is saturated with bright colors and endless filters, sometimes it's nice to strip things down to its most basic form. That's why I love Leica photography so much — they focus on making great products instead of flashy ones. That's why Leica cameras have been around for so many years! They don't need gimmicks or expensive advertisements...they let their products speak for themselves! And if you want proof that Leica cameras aren't just for old people, check out our latest campaign shot by @sakuknight using his new Leica M10 camera! The best part? It was shot entirely on film! #leicam10 #hkig #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephoto #filmphotography #filmphotography #hkiglife A photo posted by HKIG (@hongkong.instagram) on Sep 8, 2016 at 2:59am PDT
Quality of light
As anyone who’s ever tried their hand at shooting black and white photography will tell you, it’s all about tones of grey. Good light can often make or break a good photo. In order to get that good light, use natural lighting if possible. If you have to use artificial light, then set up your shot so that there is a window behind your subject—this will create a soft shadow behind them and give your subject some dimension. If there isn’t any natural light available, then try setting up lights with soft boxes—these are best for creating even tones of grey. Remember though: as much as we love them here at Leica Store Causeway Bay, don't forget to take advantage of what's around you! A great shot doesn't always require fancy equipment; sometimes just getting out there with your camera is enough!
Leica photography: The Leica M series cameras are known for being simple and easy-to-use. This means they're perfect for beginners looking to learn how to take pictures! Leica Store Causeway Bay offers a range of workshops to help you get started with your Leica camera. If you’re interested in learning more about Leica photography, then check out our Leica Photography 101 workshop on Saturday 7th September from 10am – 12pm or Sunday 8th September from 2pm – 4pm at Leica Store Causeway Bay (2nd floor). It's free to attend, but please register here first.
With all that said, if you have any questions about Leica photography or Leica Store Causeway Bay, feel free to ask us on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , YouTube or via email . We’d love to hear from you!
Depth and texture
As with most things in life, it's all about finding that balance between style and substance. And where most of us are concerned with staying on trend, Leica knows that shooting black-and-white photos is all about going deep—into your own subject matter. That said, quality is no accident; it takes skill to really nail black-and-white imagery. Leica has some tricks up its sleeve to help you make a statement—even when using one of its smallest cameras: The X Vario. Whether you're a photography newbie or veteran looking for a shot at something more complex than Instagram will allow you to create without lugging around an expensive DSLR rig (or not), here are three ways you can master black-and-white street shots like an expert There’s only one place in Causeway Bay I know of that serves delicious shakshuka—and it’s right across from my apartment! My wife and I go there every Saturday morning for breakfast. It’s a tiny spot, just big enough to fit four tables along each wall. A sign above says Jerusalem Restaurant but everyone calls it simply Shakshuka Corner because they serve only two items: shakshuka and falafel sandwiches. But trust me, if you love shakshuka as much as I do, those two items are all you need!
When it comes to composing a photo, there are two basic ways of thinking about how elements within your frame relate to one another. Either you can put them together into a visually pleasing arrangement or you can separate them into two opposing categories—whether they’re geometric shapes or light vs. dark (or both). I find that shooting black and white photography is all about focusing on these aspects: tones of grey, quality of light, contrast, composition and texture. They are the essence of black and white. And by playing with these variables when taking photos, you end up capturing more interesting images than if you just focus on subject matter alone. The resulting photographs have more layers of depth than if they were shot in color. If you haven’t yet tried out black and white photography, give it a go! You might be surprised at what you capture. In addition to being great for landscape shots, some other subjects that work well for black and white include urban scenes (such as Hong Kong's famous high-rises), busy streetscapes (like Causeway Bay) and objects/people who move around or change over time. If something changes in front of your camera lens while shooting black and white photos, you will notice those changes immediately when reviewing your shots. This way, you can quickly adjust what you're doing so that subsequent shots come out better than before.
Most photographers will tell you that a shot can only be taken when all three dimensions are right: composition, exposure and focus. But if you’re new to shooting in monochrome, you might find that one dimension is often more critical than another: contrast. While black-and-white photographs with high contrast are striking, images with little or no apparent contrast tend to fall flat. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a professional camera (although it helps) or expensive lenses (though they help too) to get great shots—you just need to know how to use your equipment. Here are some tips for getting started with black-and-white photography. Shooting Leica Photography in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong: Black and white may sound like an obvious choice for capturing cityscapes—but you'd be surprised at how many people make a few key mistakes when trying to take pictures in black and white. There's a reason why most street photographers prefer to shoot on film; digital sensors pick up colours so easily that it's hard not to end up with overly colourful photos without actually meaning to do so. The good news is that taking black-and-white photos isn't rocket science—it's really about understanding light and shadow, which any beginner can learn from a few days' practice.