No Shades of Grey - tyneholm
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No Shades of Grey

Assignment S10

Forget about the “full tonal range” that camera club judges like to see; this assignment is all about producing punchy, high-contrast images made up of bright whites and intense blacks.

This is where you can really experiment and throw all the rules out of the window. Be open-minded and allow your frame to contain large areas of light and dark – it might go against the grain but the results can be stunning.

Aim to produce a series of eight shots with a shared theme for this assignment.

View the images


  • Shoot Raw to give yourself more post-production options the it comes to dialling up the blacks, whites and contrast.
  • Think carefully about composition: big, bold, simple shapes work best.
  • Vast areas of “negative space” (such as shadow areas) form an important part of your compositions,
  • Use multi-area metering to get a reasonably accurate exposure, then use exposure compensation to fine-tune it, hopefully producing extreme blacks and whites.

Field Notes

  • Early morning is a great time to do this as the shadows are long and there are fewer people around.
  • Look to great street photographers such as Fan Ho and Daido Moriyama for inspiration – they made great use of the extreme ends of the tonal range.
  • If your camera settings allow it, set your viewfinder or LCD screen to monochrome to help you see the composition without the distraction of colour.