About the Author

Alex Jordan

Field Guide

Born in Cape Town, Alex grew up on a family wine estate in Stellenbosch. Spending much of his young life outdoors, Alex went on many a holiday into Southern Africa’s national parks and wild areas. After finishing high school, he completed a number ...

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18 Comments

on The Power of Black and White

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Stunning black and white images Alex. I do go through my photos and discard some that does not look and feel right. I am going to try and convert it to black and white and see what happen. Great tips.

Alex Jordan
Field Guide

A great idea. You could potentially be amazed. Thank you for the kind words.

Jeff Rodgers
Senior Digital Ranger

As a long-time fan of black and white images, thank you for a fantastic blog and all of those terrific photos.

Alex Jordan
Field Guide

Thank you Jeff!

Michael & Terri Klauber
Digital Tracker

Alex, All we can say is Wow, Wow, Wow! Your images are dramatic and expressive. We love the way they have us focus on the smallest details on these beautiful animals. Thanks for the reminder of the incredible power in B&W photography!

Alex Jordan
Field Guide

Thank you very much for the kind words. You summed up exactly what i was trying to express.

Darlene Knott
Senior Digital Ranger

Beautiful B&W creations, Alex. I especially liked the Nkoveni female leopard and the Birmingham male lion. I love experimenting with black and white in LR. Overexposing is interesting to do while shooting as you did with the hippos. I have done that with zebras and cheetahs. Excellent blog post. Thanks!

Alex Jordan
Field Guide

Thank you so much Darlene! Keep experimenting.

Mary Beth Wheeler
Digital Tracker

Some powerful images, Alex. The first, the face of Birmingham male, really resonated with me. I often go back over my shots and play with removing the color – I think I’ll try it again!

Alex Jordan
Field Guide

Thank you. Yes the image of the male lion peering around a tamboti tree is one i do enjoy. Play around with black and white, you can easily be amazed.

Dina Petridis
Explorer

I suppose you know also the website of Nick Brandt’s black and white photographs ?

Alex Jordan
Field Guide

Unfortunately not but will look it up. Thank you

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

An absolutely range of images!! I’ve been experimenting with B&W for a few months now and I’ve managed to get a few really incredible results! It really brings out textures, like you said, and also can hold a lot more emotion and meaning

Alex Jordan
Field Guide

Thank you Callum. Yes you are completely correct. It emphasizes the textures, contrast and emotion.

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Pleasure Alex!!

Denise Vouri
Digital Tracker

I completely agree with your assessment of B/W images, and when I’m editing, I often convert to see how it looks. Oftentimes you can achieve more details when converting. Big cats and zebra are especially beautiful in b/w.

Do you think it’s important to overexpose when confronted with difficult light situations-too much contrasting light? Thanks!

Alex Jordan
Field Guide

Hi Denise. Thank you for your comments. It’s great creating a duplicate image and doing a black and white conversion. As i mentioned, there’s a chance an ordinary image can become an amazing one.
Overexposure is all light and scenario dependent. It depends on what type of photograph you are wanting to capture. As most wildlife photographers shoot in aperture priority mode with evaluative metering and the rule is to overexpose if your subject is much darker and contrasting than the environment it’s in. Overexposure in very contrasting light can allow for a good high-key image (that’s if it’s the style you going for).

Wendy Hawkins
Explorer

I am not a fan of B&W images, but I see what you have here & maybe when I go to Addo I will try it too! Thanks for your awesome range of pictures 🙂

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