5 Black-and-white Photography Tips


Forget Color

If you're taking black-and-white pictures with a film camera, or you plan to convert your digital photos later, you'll face a serious distraction -- color. A photograph may be dazzling in color, but when converted to black-and-white it could easily become a dull blur of indistinguishable grays. For this reason, it's important to ignore color when taking black-and-white photographs, no matter how stunning the hues may be.

When composing a black-and-white picture, look for brightness and contrast in your subject matter, instead of color. The most striking monochromatic photographs have both light and dark tones that contrast strongly with one another, so you'll need to be able to identify these qualities when framing your picture. One way to do this is to squint. Squinting reduces detail and makes bright colors less vivid, allowing you to focus more on tonality than color. You will soon find that many patterns and textures that appear distinct in a full-color world can almost disappear when captured in black-and-white.