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Top 5 Tips for Black and White Photography

by pravash ranjan behera
pravash ranjan behera
June 26, 2014
OriginalGreat Value
How to do black and white photography

Black and white photography can never get out of fashion. When it comes to creating a classic vintage look or ensuring a breathing life into portraits, color photography can never come close to Blank and white pictures.


Here are a few tips to help you capture picture perfect Black and white snaps.
1) Try to Avoid Moving Subjects: Black and white photographs look best when objects have sharp, crisp, and well-defined outlines. There are no colors to distract the viewer’s focus from any imperfections. So, avoiding moving subjects will ensure more clear, sharp, and steady shots. It will convey an emotion and create a good impression on the viewers. In case of landscape pictures, go for steady subjects like a long, stable tree or vast expanse of mountains but not something like a stretch of swinging wild tulips or cascading rivers.

Moving objects

2) Decide a Theme or Mood: Always decide a theme or an emotion that you want to convey through the photo. Monochromatic photos can convey an emotion more effectively than a color picture. Capturing a vague, casual, and theme-less Black and white photograph is simply a waste. Always decide the theme beforehand so that you can take some time to organize the background details, clothes, and looks of the model, inspect the location, etc. Last minute preparation can only result in confusion and complication. The personality of a subject, emotions of the photographer or any mood swing during that time can be reflected through a precisely captured black and white shot.



3) Go for Plain Clothes for the Model: Patterned and elaborately designed clothes can create unnecessary distraction. As all the bright colors will ultimately look grey in a Black and white photograph, it is better to go for plain dark ones contrasted with light colors. If you happen to choose a dark colored jacket, you can then contrast it with light, plain T-Shirt. But try to avoid clothes with strips and patterns, heavy embroidery works, and spangling.

Plain clothes


4) Rack Your Head for Awe- inspiring Pose: Trying creative postures and poses for the model is very important in case of black and white photography. Perfect pose will reflect the personality and mood of the model. And as we know there can be no better medium to reveal mood and emotions other than through black and white pictures, the photographer should come up with interesting and imaginative poses. Try to establish a good rapport with your clients so that you can discuss about the poses frankly before photo session.

Creative poses

5) Know what to Shoot in what: Not all pictures look good in black and white. It is essential for the photographer to first visualize the image in black and white and then decide whether it looks good or not. Portrait photography looks best in both color and black and white, but if you want the intense looks to convey a definite message, then monochromatic pictures will carry more impact.


These tips should be carefully followed by a photographer to be able to accomplish the task of capturing perfect black and white photos. It should be noted that the real talent of a photographer comes across more effectively in black and white pictures.


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