How To Make Your Photos High Contrast
A quick discussion of some technical details before we get into types of high contrast photography. There are many methods and schools of thought regarding the contrast in your photos in the digital age. Use of a format such as RAW, especially if you'll be spending a lot of time working at an image, is probably a good place to start. The amount of editing is entirely a matter of personal preference and experimentation – time intensive techniques such as HDR may be employed, but just using a high contrast digital filter on-camera can also work just as well. Keep in mind while taking shots, however, that it is easier to raise contrast than to lower it once you're in post processing, so it might be a good idea to take the photographs with a relatively low amount of contrast at the beginning and tweak it once you're in front of the computer.
Also, your choice of scene may also influence whether the photograph will simply naturally end up being high contrast. A bright sunny day will cast a lot of shadows and bright spots, forcing you to take advantage of it. Similarly, many scenes are simply so busy with regards to color and texture that your only choice is to create a high contrast image from it.
Try not to get too fixed into one way of shooting. Intentionally creating high contrast images, for instance if you're a photographer who tends to work with fine shades of gray, or someone without a set style quite yet, may prevent stylistic stagnation and excite those right brain neurons. Go forth and experiment!
Throughout this article I provide many examples of my own personal toying with high contrasts. By no means are they the only way to go about using high contrast in your photography. Check out sites like DeviantArt and some of the quality photography therein: what does high contrast do for an image? How do different photographers approach contrast? Keep a close eye—you might be surprised at what you see.