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Black and White Photography Tips

  • Tutorials
  • 08/09/18

Here are some fun tips to train your eye to get some wonderful Black and White images.

1. Watch Black and White movies
There are some classics out there that can all be viewed on YouTube from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. The Directors needed to use lighting to be able to create drama and not rely on colour. You can learn a lot from studying where they placed the light and tonal qualities of the image.

2. The deeper the black, the whiter the white
This is a play on perception but is one of the core principles, where you darken the blacks so the whites appear brighter in post-production or underexpose.

3. Form
Removing colour is removing a distracting element. Arrange the elements so you can see the pattern or patterns in the photograph.

4. Contrast
There is no colour to bring out the sharp contrasts in black and white photography and therefore to separate your elements. Shades of grey need to illustrate this for you. Perhaps place a light coloured subject in front of a dark background to add depth.

5. Use Filters
You need to start thinking in black and white to be able to consider which filter to use to create the look you want such as dramtic skies or a certain ambiance. A red filter will lighten up light shades of grey, and will unveil details  that are barely visible in color. It can also be used in landscape photography, to dramatically darken blue skies, and produce deep shadow effects.