black and white photos

8 Tips To Taking Black and White Photography

Taking gorgeous black and white photography can be stunning. Changing a photo from color to black and white could bring a whole other level to the photo - and you may even notice that the black and white version makes it stand out that much more. Below, you will find 8 tips to taking black and white photography. We hope you enjoy! 

Photo credit: Andrew Smith via

Photo credit: Andrew Smith via

1. Shoot in RAW

Sometimes a photo taken may not be best in black and white but you do not see it until you are reviewing the files on your computer. If you shoot in RAW, you will be able to change your mind if you happen to have a color photo that would be beautiful in black and white or visa versa. 

2. Pay Attention To Lines, Shadows and Shapes

When you are trying to visualize what you are shooting in black and white, it is important that you only pay attention to the lines, shadows and shapes. It is a great trick to help you see what the scene in color you are looking at through the lens would probably look like in black and white. 

3. Use a Polarizer

If you are shooting black and white photographs around reflective surfaces such as water or leaves, using a polarizer will help to cut the reflection of the sun's light. When you remove color from the photo, the reflections can be very distracting to the overall composition of the photo. 

In need of a polarizer for your camera? Check out this one here

4. Keep An Eye Out For Patterns

The ordered repetition of patterns can be very interesting and color tends to distract from our attention from those patterns; however, shooting in black and white will make those patterns more compelling. Look for objects such as cars lined up in a parking lot, a row of trees, or shoes of a wedding party standing in line together. You can find a pattern in any type of photography that you are doing, whether it is landscapes, wedding, sports, animals, or anything else you can photograph. 

5. Not Much Color To Begin With? Probably Not Good For Black and White

If you are shooting a photo that already has very little color in it, just as an animal that is black and white or a night sky, it most likely will not look as good in black and white as it does in color. Keep that in mind so you do not get yourself disappointed. 

6. Shoot in HDR

HDR is great for black and white photography because it exaggerates the dynamic range and edges. You will notice that nothing pops quite like a black and white HRR photo. 

7. Use HSL During Post-Processing

When you are post-processing a black and white photo, it is important to tweak the colors in the HSL panel in Photoshop or Lightroom. You will notice that your photos will look much better with the HSL adjustment. 

Do you need to purchase a program to help with your photo processing? Check out this Adobe Photoshop Elements or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

8. Make It Clean Black and White

Having a clean white and a clean black in your photos is a good way to think when you are capturing a photo you want. Without it, you would have what is called a "muddy image" which means you would have a bunch of shades of gray. Having a crisp and clean white and a clean black in the photo will really make all the texture stand out. You will really notice the difference if you have that clean black and white.  

We hope these tips were helpful for you! For other great tips and advice, here are a few other blog posts we think you may enjoy:

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