Mar 25, 2012

5 Black and White Photography Tips - guest post by Peter

Hi Ocean Dreamers, I made it back to Utah 
 and now it's time to work away! 
Of course I miss CA and BK very much
but I'll be back soon - I always am!
Here's one more guest post for you to enjoy 
{ I love black and white photography btw } 
and I'll be back tomorrow to announce 
the winner of my Juicy Couture giveaway! :)


5 Black and White Photography Tips

Black and white photos bring out the details in a subject, by removing the often dazzling distraction of colors. While any subject can be captured in black and white, many photographers choose people. That’s because black and white portraits tend to reflect a model’s personality in his or her facial expression, in a way that color portraits cannot.
Whether you plan to capture portraits or any other subjects, here are some useful tips on black and white photography.

1.                   Contrast is key
In a photo whose color has been removed, the intensity of the light becomes crucial, and will be one of the elements that will make the strongest impression on the viewer. Contrast thus becomes essential for conveying your message. For remarkable shoots, keep your eyes peeled for scenes with high contrast, because these usually make for the best black and white photos.
2.                   Play with contrast
You can further improve contrast during post-processing. When you use professional image-processing software you’ll be able to experiment with curves and levels, as well as with dodging and burning. These four, used subtly, can help you improve contrasts. And what’s great about them is that they can be used only with certain areas of your black and white photos, without affecting the whole.
3.                   Capture in RAW or in color
If you’re using a digital camera, you’ve probably tried already the ‘Capture in Black and White’ option. While with high-end digital cameras this option can produce good results, it’s still better to shoot in RAW or in color, because nine times out of ten the end results are superior when you do the conversion with your image-processing software, rather than when let your camera do it for you automatically.

Post-production black and white conversion gives you more options, leaving you more room for experimentation. For the most control during the conversion process, shoot in RAW. If your camera doesn’t support RAW, then go with color JPEG.
4.                   Shoot with a low ISO
For most black and white photos, the noise ISO adds is eye-catching, unpleasantly so. To be on the safe side, use the lowest ISO you’re comfortable with to avoid the noise. You have to remember that while you can always add noise with Photoshop, you cannot really remove existing noise, at least not entirely.
5.                   Consider using color filters
Some black and white photographers dislike color filters, preferring to leave the tones they’ve captured unaltered. Even if you’re one of them, why not give color filters a go, and see whether you can add special effects to your photos?

You have two choices: either a non-destructive color filter applied through your image-processing software, or a digital camera color filter. The first is less of a hassle, which is why you should try it first. Later on, if you like the effect color filters can bring to your black and white photos, you can start using a digital camera color filter.
In the end, remember that while black and white photography is essentially similar to color photography, it does emphasize contrasts more, and it requires, to some extent, a different approach toward the subject.

The post is written by Peter Smith. Peter is passionate about photography and digital cameras. Apart from that he is a freelance writer and teacher. Visit his site to know more about corporate video production and  film production companies.


  1. I love these tips. I want to expand on my photography skills, especially with Black & White, so this is really useful.

  2. i've never thought about how black and white can capture emotions better than color can, or that color can serve as a dazzling distractor- very interesting!

  3. So many things that I never really knew about b&w photography. I love that each of these images are like a piece of beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing the tips Peter!
    XO - Marion

  4. These photos are STUNNING and these tips are invaluable. Black and white photography is truly an art.

  5. LOVELY PICS:) I really like your blog and will happily follow...If you want some inspiration for work..check out my blog:) I wish you a great week.

    LOVE Maria at

  6. These are fantastic tips! I love b&w pics!

  7. Great tips, I've fallen in love with black and white photographs. Thanks for this amazing post :)

  8. black and white is definitely more stunning. photography is a hobby i'd like to get into. maybe when i give birth to a subject i'll start it up. :)

  9. thank you for this... i love b& photos but just feel like i'm not good at taking them

  10. Great amazing and so useful tips. Thanks for such informative post doll.

    <3 Marina

  11. I adore Black & White photos...these are sublime!


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