Mastering the Art of Black and White Photography: Tips and Techniques

Many people believe taking photos is easy because we all have cameras on our phones we use every day. Now, this couldn’t be further from the truth, especially considering how big of a market this is, but there is something else that makes photography so special – creating something from scratch, something unique and different, and expressing yourself through images. That is why we will further focus today on the art of black and white photography.

Pick the right stock photography site


It doesn’t matter if you want to sell photos, use some free samples, or buy certain images, picking the right stock photography site is of vast importance. Namely, the goal is to find the one with the lowest fees, has thousands of contributors, and has a lot of traffic. Of course, you can always opt and go with a lesser-known site and start growing your own brand, but for beginners, it’s always a much better and even more secure option to go with renowned sites like

Choose the right shapes

Black and white photos do not contain any colors, which means we can’t focus on colors to make them unique and interesting to the viewers. Instead of that, the best idea is to focus on interesting shapes and lines to add depth to them and various textures that can help spectators experience the photos. It might be pretty challenging for beginners, so the best way to start is to go with strong lines that will stand out and add some structure, such as buildings, trees, and other things that have clear lines that separate them from the background.

Shade can also be a great way to enhance certain parts of the photo or to highlight something that should be easily noticeable. In general, focusing and sharpening various shapes and playing with shadows can enhance the look of every photo and make your work much better. All that, along with great composition, can really help you create a genuine masterpiece and photos that everyone will fall in love with.

Save them in the right format


Okay, everyone knows that the quality of the file depends on the format you go with, and the same is true with photos. Namely, even though many people struggle when it comes to choosing the right format to save their photos, this shouldn’t be that big of an issue. There are two most popular formats, RAW and JPEG, and even though most folks tend to go with JPEG because they are used to it, it all depends on the file, photo, composition, and the end goal of what you want your photo to look like, which is why we will try to make it easier for you to pick the right format.

Raw format

RAW format is preferred by professionals because it contains a lot of information that can be used in later photo editing. However, these files are usually pretty large, and you will need a lot of memory on your camera or memory card. Besides that, amateur cameras could have trouble taking multiple RAW shots, which can be pretty challenging for beginners. Understandably, this doesn’t mean that you should at all costs go with JPEG because sometimes, especially for those who want to take quality photos and be recognized as artists or professional photographers, going with RAW format gives you much more options. There are so many edit options with this type of format, leaving it up to your imagination, inspiration, and creativity to create a masterpiece.

JPEG format

On the other hand, JPEG format is much more suitable for beginners and amateur cameras because it captures less information, and saved files are much smaller. It means you can take more of them and edit them later, but we need to mention that editing is much more limited than with RAW format because of less information captured. Of course, you can always change and edit a thing or two, which is why it’s ideal for newbies because they can practice and learn how to edit and create quality photographs.

Pay attention to the contrast

One of the most important techniques used to make black and white photos unique is contrast since we cannot rely on vivid colors, as we have only white, black, and gray. Because of that, it is crucial to pay attention to it while taking shots, as although it can be edited later, it is better to do it before. The contrast adds depth to photos, and you should focus on the lighting and composition when capturing the image, as in that way, the photo will not need a lot of editing in post-processing and definitely will look much better. Once again, shadow is also something you can play with and use to enhance or/and highlight certain parts of the photo, so make sure to use it. The easiest way to start practicing the usage of contrast is to pick some beautiful buildings and capture them from different angles in contrast to the bright sky.

Start with simple shots


Every beginning is tough, even for the most talented photographers, which is why people often tend to say that what you all have in common is that you had to start from somewhere, and taking simple photos is the best way to do so. The great thing about black and white photos is that the simplest things might look amazing, so there is no need to complicate, and you should start with the simplest shots from your neighborhood. Instead of trying to capture the perfect sunset or some scenes with many colorful details, you can choose the landscapes of mountains or buildings that will look astonishing.

Another great idea to start with is taking portrait photos because all you need is a model willing to pose, a clean white background, and proper lighting to start experimenting. The options really are numerous, and if you have some great idea or if you feel like capturing some moment should really look amazing, don’t hesitate because you can always edit certain things, but the best photographers show their talent and experience by capturing the right frame, which is why, for certain things, timing is everything.