5 Tips for Better Black and White Photos

Once upon a time, way, way, way back when, black and white photography was the only type of photography. Even though we’ve been able to create color photographs for more than 150 years now, black and white photography remains an elegant, if not nostalgic form of photography that allows you, the photographer, to tell your story in a way that a color photograph cannot.

Here are five tips that you can start using immediately to create better black and photos.

1. Use contrast, shape, and texture

Crafting Black and White Images - PicMonkey

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When you shoot in color, complementary and opposing colors help bring your photo to life. But when you convert that photo to black and white, those colors are changed to shades of grey. This means that your image needs a lot of contrast to make it compelling.

Look for scenes that have a combination of bright and dark areas as well as texture. In this photo—taken in Yosemite National Park—the clouds, sky, and rock provide the perfect combo of contrast, shape, and texture to make it stand out as a black and white image. nature  photography, landscape photography, photo shop , nature  photography, landscape photography, photo shop , nature  photography, landscape

2. Increase the exposure time

Crafting Black and White Images - PicMonkeynature  photography, landscape photography, photo shop , nature  photography, landscape photography, photo shop , nature  photography, landscape

Long-exposure photography is a technique that can set you up to create dramatic black and white images. This works really well if you’re photographing subjects like moving clouds or water against non-moving objects like buildings, or natural objects like rocks.

The sky, clouds, and water will typically give you a brighter exposure, which helps achieve the element of contrast noted above. The blurred movement of the water and the clouds can add interesting texture to your image as well. nature  photography, landscape photography, photo shop , nature  photography, landscape photography, photo shop , nature  photography, landscape

To achieve this look, you’ll need a strong ND (neutral density) filter such as a Lee Big Stopper or a Vü Filter to capture the movement without completely overexposing your photo.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to recalculate your exposure time when you put one of these filters over your lens. This is because your camera won’t be able to “see” through the filter and calculate the exposure time on its own. There are a number of apps for iOS and Android devices that will help you do this.

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