photography techniques


Why Monochrome Photography

The black and white give a timeless quality to the images. Hence, it’s one of the reasons why people are going for monochromatic photography more. This is all because of the thoughts behind the vision, a vision about portraying a colourful time as a different, colourless era. Also, people are into throwbacks more these days, and what else could justify the feels if not monochrome.

“To see in colour is a  delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.” -Andri  Cauldwell

  •  Shoot RAW

The best way that photographers can capture high-quality images, whether colored or monochrome/black and white is to shoot RAW files. But if you shoot raw files simultaneously and set the camera to its monochrome Picture Style/Picture Control/Film Simulation mode, you get an indication of how the image will look in black and white. Having pictures clicked in raw gives you more pixels, added mouldability and ease when it’s finally time to edit and post-process your shots. Alternatively, you can shoot in both RAW + JPEG, if you also want to keep a JPEG version of each of your shots.

Image Credits to Akarsh Mathur
Image Credits: Akarsh Mathur
  •  Look for Contrast/Shape/Texture

The complimentary and adverse colours that bring a colour image to life are all reduced to black and white or shades of grey in a monochrome image and you have to look for tonal contrast to make a shot presentable, In colour photography eg: while capturing colored portraits, the eye gets immediately drawn to a red object on a green background. However, in monochrome photography, the brightness and contrast are same over these areas which results in a flat image that is dull straight from the camera. Thankfully, its is possible to adjust the brightness of blacks and whites separately to introduce some contrast. There are always exceptions, but as a general rule look for scenes that contain some strong blacks and whites.

This can be achieved by the light or by the brightness (or tone) of the objects in the scene as well as the exposure settings that you use. Setting the exposure for these brighter areas also makes the shadows darker, so the highlights stand out even more. Look for shapes, patterns, and textures in a scene and move around to find the best composition.

Image Credits to Akarsh Mathur
Image Credits: Akarsh Mathur
  • Try Long Exposure

In monochrome photography, long exposure shots work effectively well, especially when there’s movement of water or clouds. To enhance tonal contrast, the highlights of the water during the exposure, for example, can be recorded across a wider area.

The hazy touch of the movement too adds textural contrast, if used with objects of solid property in the frame. If want, one can go with neutral density filter, for example, ‘Lee Filters’ Big stopper or Little Stopper to customize the exposure and extend shutter speed (by 10 and 4 stops respectively).

When exposures extend beyond for say, 1/60 sec, we need a tripod to keep the camera steady to avoid the haziness. It is suggestible to go for a remote realease or mirror lock-up to control the vibration and for aptly sharp images.


Image Credits: Surabhi Khare
Image Credits: Surabhi Khare
  • Take Control

Also, colored filters can be used to change the contrast if shooting digital B&W images, it’s usual to restore until it’s processed. Adobe Camera Raw, which has more effective tools (in the HSL/ Grayscale tab) for you to adjust the brightness of eight different colors that form the image, Photoshop’s Channel Mixer was the preferred means

It’s easy to change one of these colors to make the image anything from white to black with the sliding control. Although, one should keep an eye on the whole image while adjusting a particular colour, since such gradations can make it look unnatural.

The adjustment of the brightness of a red or pink t-shirt with red sliding control might have an impact on the person’s skin, especially the lips.

Tonal range and contrast can be changed with the help of the Levels and Curves controls, but what helps you in creating separation between objects of the same brightness with different colors is HSL/Grayscale.

Image Credits: Ayush Chauhan
Image Credits: Ayush Chauhan


Feature Image Credits: Akarsh Mathur for DU Beat

Adithya Khanna
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It’s as difficult to write about emotions as it is to capture them on camera. For this very purpose, the photographers at DU Beat have compiled a collection of their best photographs to highlight the different types of lighting effects that could be incorporated to give the photographs the desired look.

Golden Hour

The golden hour is an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise. The best part about golden light is that it is soft, warm, and dimensional.

Blue Hour


The blue hour is a period of twilight in the morning and the evening. The sun is at a significant depth below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes a blue shade.

Night Time

Night Time_saubhagya

Photography in the night time is an eternal bliss. You can click beautiful pictures with moonlight, star trails, light trails, city lights etc.



You will get the most amount of light during the day.  In the full sun, use the Sunny 16 rule to get amazing pictures. Set your aperture to f/16, the ISO should stay around 100 and the Shutter Speed to about 1/100 or 1/125.



A twilight photo is usually taken at dusk to showcase landscape/property lighting, pool lighting and features like fire pits, and a beautiful sunset.



Photographers use the backlight to add depth into the photograph. Many others use it to create a more dramatic effect.


Front light evenly illuminates your subject. The shadow it casts is behind the subject, out of the sight of the camera’s point of view.



Sidelighting is a useful way to bring out the texture of the subject. It works very well for creating areas of strong shadow in the image.

Tyndall Effect


Tyndall Effect is the phenomena of the scattering of light by particles in a colloid or in a very fine suspension. Tall trees which a form a canopy like structure in the top create beautiful images with the Tyndall Effect.

Dramatic Light


Storms and bad weather are usually considered as hindrances, but if you are in the right location after the storm clears, then you will be able to create a lot of drama in the picture. The clouds and the lights can play together to create the desired dramatic effect.


Feature Image Credits: Surabhi Khare for DU Beat

Surabhi Khare
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Ayush Chauhan
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Piyush Dua
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Saubhagya Saxena
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Also known as “Boke”, it is one of the most popular subjects in photography. Why? Because it makes photographs visually appealing, forcing us to focus our attention on a particular area of the image. The word comes from the Japanese language, which literally translates as “blur”. So bokeh is essentially the quality of out-of-focus or “blurry” parts of the image rendered by a camera lens.

Photo by Vansh Sabarwal for DU Beat


For capturing great out-of-focus pictures, photographers usually use the fastt lens or the fast prime lenses. Lenses with small aperture values of f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8 are called fast lenses as they allow more light to enter due to which we can increase the shutter speed. These lenses produce shallow depth of field due to which background/fore-ground gets out-of-focus and that creates an aesthetically appealing photographs, known as bokeh.

Source: Canon Global


We can create bokeh of different shapes by using the most basic requisites. Take a small black piece of paper and cut it approximately into the size of your camera lens and tape it over it. Cutting the piece of black paper into different shapes, whatever pleases the cameraman works. When pictures shall be captured with the black piece of paper stuck to the lens, you will get the bokeh effect from the shape you cut it out in, be it heart or squares.

Source: DIY Photography


Photo by Vansh Sabarwal


Engaging in bokeh photography is fun. But it becomes even more fun when we understand and manouvre with different angles in clicking the said picture. Focussing is essential. To get great output in the form of pictures, one needs to understand what one needs to focus on. When one masters that, the pictures that come out of it, are worth the effort.

Photo by PV Purnima for DU Beat
Photo by Vansh Sabarwal for DU Beat


Few Examples:

Vansh Sabarwal
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Ankita Kar Dharmakar
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Photos: Vansh Sabarwal, PV Purnima, and Akarsh Mathur for DU Beat