Somewhat Simple

Black and White Photography Tips

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Today we’re going to share our favorite Black and White Photography Tips and share 5 Secrets for Better Black & White Pictures.

Black and White Photography Tips - Somewhat Simple

Have you ever wanted to get the classic, romantic look and feel of black and white pictures but not sure where to begin? Here are a few secrets to get you started with black and white photography.

Black and White Photography Tips

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Visualize Your Shot in Black and White

Pre-visualize your image in black and white. With color gone, other elements become important factors for a successful image. Some subjects are better left to color, like a tropical sunset that would lose its feel and impact when black and white. Or an orange poppy against a green field – these colors end up as similar gray tones when converted to black and white resulting in a flat image with little contrast.

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Think About Composition

Since you are unable to use color to lead the eye to the subject of the photo, focus on lines, shadows and shapes instead. Keep an eye out for leading lines or other strong features like dramatic angles that can be used to draw the eye to the subject. Look for an area of deep black or bright white to use as a central point to draw the eye to. If your subject is busy, look for a simple background.

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Look for Patterns and Textures

Look for patterns, tones, and textures to emphasize your subject and add depth to your photo.

Patterns are naturally interesting and in black and white they can be even more compelling. Look for repetition, like a white picket fence with black shadows, cars in a parking lot, or a row of trees.

Texture provides interest to black and white images as well. Think back to the black and white photos you’ve seen of barns, picket fences, wood, and antiques.

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Consider the Lighting

Strong, direct sunlight creates crisp, dramatic shadows. It also allows for areas that are very dark black and areas of bright white. Try to avoid harsh, bright midday light from above and rather shoot in the morning or late afternoon when low angled light provides a softer touch and creates interesting shadows.

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Use Contrast to Your Advantage

The entire composition of black and white photos relies on contrast. Make sure you have both pure white and pure black in your photo. If not, then you just have a muddy gray image instead of a crisp black and white image. Including the entire range from black to white will make the image pop and helps the viewer appreciate all the shades in between. Look for an image that will provide a range of tones from black to white and pay special attention to highlights and shadows.

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Black and white photos have that classic, calming look which makes them especially great for displaying in large picture frames around the house. I hope these five simple Black and White Photography Tips help you on your way to better black and white photos that you’ll be proud to share!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda Halabi writes content on behalf of the digital picture frame experts at Nixplay. An avid traveler and photographer, she loves to explore and fit in adventures whenever possible. Follow her on LinkedIn.