Learn Tonal Value via Black and White Photography

Seems I may have stumbled on some accidental learning.

Black and White photo of canon dslr camera in front of vintage book shelves of Hawaiiana aliciadrhankins

I’ve been playing around, taking black and white photographs. Composing pictures by using shapes, tones, and contrast. Guess what?

I’m starting to connect the importance of tonal value to my painting compositions!

By accident (and playful experience) you can

Learn Tonal Value via Black and White Photography

As if by childish play, by snapping carefree photos, playing with compositions, leading lines, large blocks of contrast, the experiences have given way to an a-ha moment.

Somehow, through reviewing the days photo collections, the “good” ones that appeal to the eye, that seem more interesting, that cause a time to pause and take note, are the ones that definitely contain a full range of deep dark black through greys up to crisp bright white.

Of course, many books say this, but to build on it, really create it, to recognize it, carry your camera, click away in black and white. You’ll be surprised at what you find.

Color hues that you think will be dark tonal, may indeed be averagely medium. Bright colors you think would be white will show medium as well.

Wait til you see the world in tonal value!

Can’t wait to use these patterns to create paintings. Imagine the power your compositions will have after your new eyes show your new view.

What do you do learn tonal value? Are your experiences help you see these darks, mediums and lights?

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