black and white photography



The absence of color does not mean the obliteration of color. Black and white could be a choice and amazingly, this choice will signalize silent color in the image even quite if the image was really bestowed in color. (Black and white photography)

If you would like to suppose in black and white you want to learn to look at the world as seen through your camera in terms of silent color, and through gradations of grey. A black and white image doubtless shows a variety from pure white to absolute black (leaving aside problems with coloring and toning). (Black and white photography)

The Rule of Thirds and Balance in Photography

These extremes don’t seem to be typically seen to any nice extent in a very colorful photo as a result of pure white representing highlight blowout, and absolute black is approximated in impenetrable shadow. Except in uncommon circumstances, color photos don’t typically feature as wide a variety of grayscale tonal values as a monochromatic representational process. (Black and white photography)


Thinking in black and white means thinking in contrast. The building blocks of composition are form, design, and form. Within the case of black and white, this formalism is consistent, and flat or softened by color. As I’ve noted, taking this to its limits, the distinction is between white and black.

Black and white photographers know that one of the primary tools of their compositional trade is the edge of the line between white and black. A hard edge between lightweight and dark becomes a black form on a white background or a white form on a black background. (Black and white photography)

In either case, the relation between black and white permits for quality within the handling of positive and negative areas within the composition. Experienced black and white photographers grasp that making or action, the sting adds a part to a photograph that typically not gifts in a very colorful image. (Black and white photography)

Life doesn’t typically gift us with obvious laborious edges between black and white to photograph. Finding these edges needs developing a special quiet vision. Look for:

  • Strong, interesting shadows: the shadows themselves may create a hard line between darkness and light.
  • Compositions that are monotonic: if color is already mostly absent, then it is likely you can add light, expose, or add post-processing effects to create high-contrast imagery.
  • Extremes between areas of brightness and shadow in a subject: if there are extremes between light and dark, then a composition may lend itself to a high contrast black and white treatment.

Even after you acknowledge a high-contrast photographic subject, there could also be extra work to do. You’ll want to consider:

  • Position the camera to emphasize the edge or the delineation between dark and white areas.
  • Use lighting to maximize the contrast.
  • Underexpose dark areas to make them blacker in the final image or overexpose bright areas to make them whiter in the image. To compensate, you’ll need to adjust processing in areas that you don’t want to go fully black (or white).
  • Consider various post-processing effects to increase tonal range, or to emphasize light or dark areas important to the composition.

Color Implied

Our expectation is that scenes and objects in our world are colored. For example, lettuce is green, a tomato is red, and orange is, well, orange.

The fact that one is viewing an object in black and white doesn’t negate the actual fact that we all know the thing has color. We have a tendency to tend to visually impute color to the topics of photos unless these subjects appear thus ancient or remote on be on the far side of the reach of realism.

The imputation of color implies that a photographer who is presenting adds black and white will assume that the topic is seen as colored, a minimum of to some extent. Therefore, the photographer will profit off what monochrome will best, namely, gift the underlying forms and contrasts. Within the universe of black and white, the color will watch out for itself, however, it doesn’t mean it isn’t gifted. Color is the elephant in the room not talked about
but with a vast presence. (Black and white photography)

Black and white photographers who want to take advantage of the imputation of color should:

  • Look for subjects whose

color is readily known (think apples, oranges, and lettuce).

  • Consider photographs where the natural colors don’t work well for some reason, but where imputed colors would be an improvement.
  • Try to create a composition where formal aspects of design outweigh the allocation of a color to the objects within the photo.

The Tonal Landscape

From the earliest origins of photography, black and white have been especially associated with landscape photography. The best landscape photographs have a purity of expression that meshes well with the sparseness of black and white. In addition, the simplicity and tonal range of black and white allow details to be brought out that would otherwise be camouflaged by the complexities of color. (black and white photography)

To create an interesting black and white landscape compositions, you should:

  • Look for landscapes with varied textures and forms in the earth and sky.
  • Avoid landscapes where the interest is primarily in saturated colors.
  • Try to create compositions that take advantage of the bold shapes possible in black and white.
  • Seek drama in the interplay between light and dark areas in your photo.


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This post contains the content of the book Creative Black & White Digital Photography Tips & Techniques