Complete Guide to Black and White Photography
A black and white photo can capture the essence of a moment in time so much more than a color photo. Black and white photography is all about highlighting contrast and patterns, which help to tell stories with images. This guide will give you tips for taking black and white photos, editing them in photoshop, what to know before shooting black and white photos, the best time of day to shoot black and white photos as well as the best camera settings for capturing black and whites!
How to Take a Black and White Photo
Taking black and white photos is a lot easier than you think. Anyone can do it! All that’s needed are the right camera settings, some personal skills, and practice taking black and white photos to develop your own style. Just follow these easy steps.
Choose whether or not you want an in-focus photo by either selecting Aperture Priority or Manual Mode.
Choose your ISO sensitivity, which affects the camera’s sensor’s light sensitivity and is measured on a scale of 100 to 51200 when choosing black and white photos. Low ISOs (100) allow for more detail in black and whites but require longer exposure times while higher ISOs (200+) provide less image detail but can be used in lower light situations.
Decide whether or not to use flash for black and white photos, which is recommended when shooting indoors rather than outdoors where the sun provides ample natural lighting. However, if you do choose to turn on your camera’s built-in flash make sure that it won’t cause harsh shadows by using your black and white photo’s Exposure Compensation function.
Set up the shot in advance by aiming at an object with detail that will provide a good black and white image, like tree bark or leaves on the ground. As you compose the black and white photo keep checking it to see how well light is hitting objects within it as this affects the black and white photo’s shadows.
When you are ready to take a black and white picture hold your camera steady, press the button down halfway to focus on your subject, then all the way down when black and white photos are in focus! It is important not to move or adjust black and whites after taking them as they must remain sharp for black and white photos to be of good quality.
If black and whites are too dark or bright, adjust the black and white photo’s Exposure Compensation function by turning the dial until black and whites look right in your viewfinder.
Tips for Taking the Perfect Black and White Photo
Taking black and white photos isn’t just about getting a great black and white photo that captures the moment. It’s about capturing black and whites in a way that appeals to you aesthetically as well!
Here are some tips for taking black and white photos.
Shoot black and whites during golden hour or at night when black is more dominant than color, like a sky full of stars overhead, which will help black and whites pop.
Frame black and white photos so that there is a balance between objects in the foreground, middle ground, background as well as black and whites around them to add depth. This will give your black and white photo’s subject more context!
Look for diagonal lines or patterns when shooting black and white photos because black and whites are black, white, and the shades of gray in between. Look for black and white photo opportunities when you see diagonals like a horizon line or fence to make black and whites more dynamic!
Black is traditionally associated with elegance while white symbolizes purity. Think about what emotions black represents as well as how it fits into black and white photo themes before shooting black and whites.
Get close to your black and white subject when taking black and whites as this will enhance black’s dominance in the picture rather than having black take up a smaller part of the shot with objects like trees, buildings, or people getting in the way.
Editing Your Black and White Photos in Photoshop
Black and white photos can be edited in black and white photo editing software such as Photoshop or black and white photography apps. When it comes to black and whites, the more edits you do, the less impressive they will look since black is already a shade of gray by itself! However, sometimes color needs to be removed from black and white images for black and white photos to look their best, which black and white photo editing software is great for.
Here are some black and white photo tips when it comes to using black and whites images.
When removing color from black and white photos, use the Hue/Saturation function by reducing Saturation until all colors have been removed from black and whites.
When black and white photos look too gray or flat, use the Burn Tool to darken black by holding down Alt+Backspace/Option+Delete until black looks right in black and white photos.
For black and whites that still lack contrast after using the Tone Curve function, try increasing Black Clip (the triangle pointing down) until black looks right in black and white photos.
When black and whites are too dark, use the Dodge Tool to brighten them up by holding down Shift+Backspace/Shift+Delete until black looks right in black and white photos.
Things You Should Know Before Shooting Black and White Photos
Even black and white photos with black people in them can be monochromatic! However, black people are still not the only subjects that look good as black and whites.
Here are some tips for shooting black and white photos.
Black doesn’t always translate well to black and white since it’s really a shade of gray on its own. Look for black and white photo opportunities when black is paired with color that can transition to black and white well, like black pants on a red top!
While black people are great subjects in black and whites since they’re monochromatic, other things look amazing as black and whites too! Look for patterns and textures that stand out in black and whites.
Remember that black isn’t the only color associated with elegance! White can be elegant too, so look for black and white photo opportunities when black is paired with a pure white like a wedding dress or shirt!
The Best Time of Day to Shoot Black and White Photos
Black photos are more artistic than black and white photos because black isn’t really a color. Black is the absence of all colors, which makes black and whites more artistic than black photos! However, black can be just as beautiful in black and white photo opportunities since it’s monochromatic! Here are some tips for shooting black and white photos:
- The best time of day to shoot black and white photos is in the morning.
- The best time of night for black and whites is when there’s a full moon!
The Best Camera Settings for Shooting Black and White Photos
Black people are great subjects for black and white photography because they’re monochromatic, but black isn’t really a color. Black is the absence of all colors! Try black and white photo opportunities when black is paired with a contrasting color like black pants on red top, or if black stands out against other objects in black and whites photos because it’s dark.
Here are some tips for shooting black and white photos.
The best camera settings to shoot black and white photos with black people in them are to put the ISO at 1000 or below, set your camera on shutter priority (TV) mode for a slow exposure time of around 0.50 seconds so you can capture black movements like dancing!
The best camera settings to shoot black and whites without black people is when there’s plenty of light to brighten black up, like in the morning!
The best camera settings for black and white photos with black people are on shutter priority (TV) mode so you can capture black movements while still getting good exposure times. Set your ISO at around 100 or 400 since ISO directly affects how much light goes into your lens when it’s on black and white photo mode.
If you’re reading this, chances are that one of your favorite things to do is take photos. And if you’re really a photography enthusiast, then the subject matter in this blog post may be super interesting for you!
We’ve compiled all our best black and white photo tips into one handy guide so now there’s no excuse not to give it a try. Whether you want to shoot some stunning landscape shots or portraits with stark contrast, we hope these six pointers help make taking beautiful black-and-white photographs easier than ever before.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start shooting today!