Black & White Photography – Tips for beginners

First and foremost, wishing all my readers a very happy new year.Here’s to new beginnings and may the new year bring nothing but the best for all of us!

Most photographers enjoy capturing and viewing pictures in monochrome. Black & white photographs can be classy, eye catching , draw attention to details and speak volumes. The pictures often stand out  for the emotions captured, composition , texture, pattern , lighting , shadows or contrast in it .The same image captured in color in fact might be a distraction .

Black and white photos help focus on expressions and gestures .In the  early days of photography ,  monochrome was   the only option. It is still popular today in spite of having so many alternatives for color photos.Undoubtedly, monochrome pictures are here to stay. The black and white photos have only black, grey and white colors in it . It is certainly an art to capture such images .There is a lot that goes in capturing and making it stand out .It can be the tones, lighting, contrast, composition and so on. It is a good idea to plan ahead if you intend the final photograph to be black and white .For instance, one can look at how light and shadow affects the subject to enhance certain features and textures .Such orchestration goes a long way in making a photograph memorable .

Some of the tips to keep in mind for capturing photos in monochrome are listed below:

Equipment : You do not need any expensive equipment for this .Most people use a regular camera to shoot color pictures and then convert to black and white in post processing. There are cameras that even come with the b & w preset and some prefer that .However, there are monochrome-only cameras that can produce a sharper and cleaner black and white image than a color camera. Most beginners opt for the color cameras due to the flexibility and convenience.

RAW mode : Shoot in RAW so you can capture all details . You can always change the different parameters and controls using software like Photoshop or Light room . The details can be adjusted to one’s liking .

Shadows: Focus on Shadows which are major elements of composition, as they bring depth to the photo.

Composition: Composition is the essence of any photograph . The viewer should have a sense of motivation ,of why the photo was captured the way it appears .

Contrast: Contrasts helps the images stand out. Look for the contrasts in a photograph while shooting and this can produce awesome results .For instance, a bright background contrasting with a dark object stands out and makes a great picture.

Filters : Apply Filters in post processing and enhance your black and white pictures .It is amazing how applying the red, blue or green filters gives the photo a completely new look.

Photo Editing Software: To enhance photos, use Software like Adobe Photoshop CC or Light room .One of the best ways to get a breath taking black and white photo is to make changes to photographs  in post production .There are also other soft wares designed for this purpose .

 How to Use Photoshop to convert a color to black and white image?

I normally use Adobe Photoshop CC or  Lightroom. In photoshopCC , naviagte to the Filter ->  Camera RAW Filter .It opens up the editing options just like in Lightroom and applies them as a filter.

The other option is to navigate to Adjustments -> black and white adjustment layer, decrease saturation completely or change parameters as needed to one’s liking.

There is also an option to use  Adjustments -> channel mixer adjustment layer.It  helps control the red, blue, and green channel in your black and white image.

Hope these tips come in handy while capturing and editing your pictures in monochrome . If you have any additional tips for beginners , I would love to hear in the comments section below .

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

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  • almeidadepaulo
    January 9, 2020 at 12:05 am

    Thanks for sharing Nisha!!!

    • InspiresNish
      January 9, 2020 at 12:13 am

      You are very welcome!

  • Sandhya
    January 9, 2020 at 3:41 am

    Love black and white photography….I find more depth and stories in them. Great post Nisha!

    • InspiresNish
      January 9, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      I agree there is something intriguing and fascinating about them !Thank you so much for stopping by .

  • Smitha
    January 9, 2020 at 9:46 am

    How interesting ! Thanks for this informative post Nisha 👍

    • InspiresNish
      January 9, 2020 at 3:41 pm

      Glad you found this interesting! Thank you so much!

  • Anita Malta
    January 9, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    I’m not used to black and white photography at all but just started to post some images once a week to try to learn more. Although i love color it is fun to try something new. Thanks for sharing this Nisha, very helpful for a beginner.

    • InspiresNish
      January 9, 2020 at 3:44 pm

      Yes I love color too ,but it is interesting to explore the monochrome aspect as well. I’m also a beginner in this area. Thank you very much , appreciate your thoughts!

  • Megala
    January 10, 2020 at 6:49 am

    Now I get motivated to use monochrome images in my blog too. 🙂 Thanks much for the wonderful post with useful tips.

    • InspiresNish
      January 10, 2020 at 6:44 pm

      Wonderful to hear that Megala ! Happy exploring in monochrome 🙂 It’s my pleasure to share.

  • Lynn
    January 11, 2020 at 2:35 am

    I’ve always been a fan of black and white images, but haven’t had a chance to experiment much with it. This great guide definitely inspires me to pursue it further 🙂

    • InspiresNish
      January 12, 2020 at 11:28 pm

      Thank you so much. I’m so glad this inspires you to pursue . I have also started exploring very recently and it’s a great perspective .

  • Jyo
    January 14, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Beautiful tips…I justtt love bnw photography 🖤

    • InspiresNish
      January 17, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      Glad to hear that Jyo! Thank you so much 🙂

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