How to Create Timeless Black and White Photos

Black and white photography is how it all started. Before reality was captured in color, photos were reduced to their essential elements. A snow-covered winter wonderland, abstract architecture, or profound portraits – until today, monochrome photography with its multifaceted nature and depth has not lost its appeal. You want to capture the perfect black and white image? Thanks to the LAPIXA tips it will be a breeze!

Black and white photography bets on light and shadows

Proper lighting is not only essential when it comes to color photography. If you want to shoot a black and white photo, different lighting conditions offer you fantastic contrasts. Definitely look for harsh sunlight, patterns, and shades – show courage and break all rules of color photography. You will see a wonderful composition of light and shadows emerge.

By the way: Really bad weather conditions are great for black and white photography.

Think outside of the box; think monochrome

You find it difficult to think of your images in black and white? For starters, setting your camera to monochrome mode is very useful. You will be able to see your shot directly in black and white without having to wear out your imagination. This mode also lets you be more creative and opens you up to new possibilities. The live view mode of you camera (in case you have one) lets you view your photo right after you shot it and can also help you determine the quality of your image. You’re able to perceive differences in brightness better and see what your photo will look like in the end.

One more tip: Always save your files in RAW format, so that changes to your image are not permanent and you can edit them later on in color as well. A corresponding photo editing software such as Photoshop or Lightroom lets you highlight every nuance and detail of your black and white shot.

Monochrome or: less is more

Black and white photography is perfect to emphasize a certain subject. A monochrome image creates a profound ambiance, is rich in contrast and puristic at the same time. “Less is more” goes a long way here: clear lines, simple forms, the main subject cohesive and in the center of attention.

And yes, noise makes for a beautiful effect in a black and white image; however, it’s easier to add noise during the editing process or to leave it out entirely. That’s why you should keep you ISO low.

schwarz-weiß fotografie
Subjects for black and white photography

Before you shoot your subject in color or black and white, think about what kind of effect you’re aiming for with your image. Landscape photographs during fall and winter are perfect for black and white photography because colors are at a minimum anyway around this time of the year.

Architecture shots are popular as well: Whether a modern skyscraper or ruins – clear lines, structures and textures of buildings prove to have a beautiful effect in a black and white photograph.

If you want to highlight the personality of a person, black and white photography is predestined. Even if this doesn’t sound too charming at first, but the older a person is, the more exciting s/he will look in a monochrome portrait. Try it: You will be able to read people’s stories in your images.

Black and white photography receives its final touches through editing

A great black and white image captivates with its simplicity. But missing color will not automatically improve an image. Add contrast to your photo during your editing process and use grain or sharpen adjustments for more clarity. If you need support optimizing your images, you can get plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop. Our tip: Test the 30 days trial of the Silver Efex Pro plugin from Google’s NIK collection. Its results are amazing and editing your images becomes childsplay.

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