Taking and producing an effective photo is a lot more than just point and shoot. In order to take effective photographs of your subject(s) you must meet some specific conditions and carry out helpful photo taking techniques. By the end of this instructable you will have a better understanding of what means to photograph an image and be on your way to making great and effective black and white photography.
Camera - You will of course need a camera to capture your images. A DSLR camera would be optimal as you are able to take full control of your camera's settings in manual mode however, it is not mandatory. A normal point and shoot camera will be fine for this, even cell phone cameras can be used but not recommended.
Photo editing software - If you are not shooting your pictures in the monochrome setting on the camera then you will need photo editing software to convert your image from colour into black and white, e.g, Adobe Photoshop.
Tripod (optional) - Helps to stabilize your camera when shooting. Useful when taking pictures with a long shutter speed.
Cable Release (optional) - Also helps when stabilizing your camera when taking a pictures, you will not have to use your hand to take the picture with the camera and as a result, shake the camera.
Step 1: Taking Your Photo
Now that you've got all your equipment, it is now time to set up and take your photo. Before taking your photo you will need to decide on the camera settings you will need to use in order to capture an effective photograph. What these settings must be depends on the environment in which you are photographing. If you want to have full control over your image later on with black and white settings shoot in colour NOT monochrome.
There are few camera settings you are going to want to focus on when shooting:
All of these individual settings can be accessed through your camera's manual mode indicated on the camera selection wheel with a capital "M". Be sure to adjust your settings so that your manual exposure bar is directly on zero. If it is not on zero, your photo is either over-exposed or under-exposed.
Step 2: Editing Your Colour Image: Channel Mixer
Once you have photographed an image you are happy with you are ready to edit it using your photo editing software. For this tutorial We will be using Adobe Photoshop as an example.
What the channel mixer allows you to do is make your photo darker or lighter overall to obtain a more visually appealing monochrome photo.
Step 3: Editing Your Colour Image: Curves
Step 4: Extra Editing (Dodge and Burn, effects)
If you still find that your photograph has more potential you can further edit your photograph by using the dodge and burn tools on the sidebar as shown to enhance shadows and lighten certain parts of your photo. You can also add other effects to your photographs such as mirror photographing as I have done with my photograph. This effect works best when taking advantage of the rule of thirds to create depth and create an overall more interesting photo to look at rather than a normal straight on picture.