Tips to Take Stunning Black and White Photograph

Kea Jones By Kea Jones, 19th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Art>Photography

Black and white photos are making a huge comeback and photographers around the world are banking upon this mode for creating spectacular images. Despite being devoid of color, these images are timeless pieces of beauty in their own mystifying sense.

Stunning Black and White Photograph

Black and white photography can create miraculous pieces of art, evoking pensive moods. Often considered in poor relation to color photography – its nemesis – black and white photography can pick the most ordinary subject and transform it into something truly mesmerizing. Color can in fact distract the onlooker towards other aspects in a picture. But what black and white does has held the viewer’s attention as if in a forever-going trance. The sense thus created is that of a deep-rooted pensive mood that allows the viewer to romanticize about the image he can’t seem to draw away from.

In order to shoot stunning black and white photographs, the ways behind doing so can be boiled down to five key concepts. All it requires is to develop a familiarity with these theories and beautiful black and white shots will be ready in no time.

1. Shoot in color – Though one can shoot in the in-camera black and white preset mode, it is advised not to use it. One can click better black and white photos in color and later convert them to black and white on one’s computer. And since these photos require post processing, the standard in-camera conversion tool can’t really match up to other high quality tools.

There is an exception to this rule, however. During shooting an image in RAW and switching it to black and white mode, one can see on-screen results in the best of both modes – color as well as black and white.

2. Shoot in RAW – Shooting in the RAW format can actually provide the most control in the post production phase when color images are to be converted into black and white ones. If the camera allows for it, RAW should be given a try. One will definitely be surprised with the results. 

3. Low ISO setting – It is recommended to shoot in the lowest ISO possible while taking black and white images. The grainy film look has gained immense popularity in recent times, but this grain or “noise” effect can be best added in the post production phase. And in case one doesn’t want to achieve this effect at all, shooting in a high ISO setting and then trying to take the noise out can really become quite difficult.

In addition, be careful with the shots as a low ISO setting can get unwanted, blurry movements into a photo. It is always better to achieve some noise than no noise at all.

4. The perfect time to shoot – Grey winter days can be the perfect days to create some awe-inspiring black and white photography. These low contrast settings will be excellent for achieving some of the smoothest transitions in one’s photos. And extra contrast can always be added in the post production phase.

5. Train for composition – Have you ever seen a monochromatic portrait of a child? The subtlety of tones and honest portrayal of the subject’s innocence is what child photographers strive for. They have a knack for choosing situations and envisioning them as black and white shots. Being as well, no doubt requires practice. Trying to learn to grasp shapes and textures as focal points. Paying attention to shadow detail and highlights can really enhance the features of a shot.

The beauty of black and white photography thus lies with its subjects which can vary from being portraits to landscapes to architecture to almost anything in this world. Perhaps it’s time to paint the world gray and allow for emotions to fly that otherwise fail to surface in the ordinary circumstances of life.

To view some outstanding photographs, you can visit


Child Photographer, Photographer

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author avatar Kea Jones
Kea Jones is New York based columnist who likes to write about various buzz and current affairs in business world. Besides that she is actively writing reviews for various new local business houses, p

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author avatar Graceful
19th Feb 2015 (#)

Nice post with some great advice. I often shoot in fog, and often the photos look like B&W.

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