4 Black And White Photography Tips

Some of the worlds most famous photographs where made in black and white. My inspiration Ansel Adams has many black and white images that are considered iconic. So how can you get great black and white images? These 4 black and white photography tips will help you gain control of your black and white destiny. 1) Shoot in Raw! The reason I shoot in RAW is because RAW provides me with the most digital information from the scene. This is important when processing the image. Shooting in raw will give you a color image, so you will have to convert to b&w (black and white) using some editing software or try my favorite Photoshop plugin Silver EFX Pro. Also shoot at ISO 100 for the simple fact that when converting to to b&w the noise in the image will be more prevalent in the darker shades of the photograph.

2) Shoot in high contrast situations. The better b&w images have a high contrast scene. Something dark and something bright. Some examples of this might be some dark rocks on the shore of a lake. A longer exposure will make the water white as the rocks will remain dark.

3) Look for patterns and textures. With the absence of color the viewer will spend more time focusing on the technical aspects of the image. Sharpness, contrast, and the patterns or textures. You will have a stronger b&w image with the aforementioned elements present.

4) Focus on details. Rough looking hands and older people make great black and white images. The old beat up tradesman hands or the classic wrinkly faces of our elders are perfect subjects. I am sure you've you remember some great portraiture done in b&w. Hard shapes, lines, and the fine details that you may have not of seen otherwise make a great colorless image. Look for those details and visualize the scene.

Follow these 4 tips and you are sure to create some stunning black and white images.


This was a 7 image panorama stiched together in photoshop. The scene was overall grey and muddy looking so I converted it to B&W for a better image.