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Jeff McKean Offers Basic Black and White Photography Guideline

A fundamental information about photographing in black and white and some basic knowledge about composition, texture and post processing.


London, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/25/2013 -- Black and white is not brand-new in regards to art, it’s been around since the beginning of time and art photography is very close in that, at first it was black and white due to technological restrictions, way before the era of color film. While the majority of photography is done automatically with digital cameras , taking pictures in black and white continues to live on today.

Color photography has the best-known processing capabilities when trying to properly shoot a scene as it grabs a full spectrum of color. Black and white photography in contrast keeps away from accurate reproduction and concentrates on other visual effects such as tones, shades, textures and form. The hard part is selecting which one takes dominance in a picture and how you shoot it.

Shoot in Color

When you take pictures in color, it lets you to catch the light in three unique channels: red, blue and green. In the case of processing the pictures, modifying these colors in multiple ways lets you to create varying effects. Increasing the red filter will have the effect of a darker and more thrilling sky. The blur filter will enhance the atmospheric haziness and the the green filter will darken skin tones. All of these are just a couple of elements that change, I suggest learn by doing, so experiment with some of your photographs yourself. Also, most of the cameras should have the feature to shoot in black and white, too.


Composition is far more significant in black and white since the alterations amongst shades and tones is much better that you may need to frame your subject capture this nicely. This probably means composing the images in another way to how you would usually do it. Pay specially attention to shadows and highlights which will turn into a element of your shot.


Black and white takes the concentration of the color of a photo and adjusts it onto the little details alternatively and texture has a big part in this. Any picture that has tough texture, but poor color is best seen in black and white as the dissimilarities in the gray level is a lot more recognizable. Black to white is far more visible than blue to green. Remember, texture is always influenced by the lighting conditions.

Post Processing

When you modify the contrast of a photo, it simply makes the dark parts darker and the light parts lighter and this is particularly significant in black and white as the improvement is much more obvious. It's more fun to processing in black and white too.

Color Difference

Photographs with very little adjustments in color should be shot in black and white. Photos like these with such a small change in color should be in black and white to help push the focus onto the shape, form, shades and texture of the picture.

About Jeff McKean
Jeff McKean is an amateur photographer, keen in landscape photos and shooting outdoors in general. Visit his blog for more info.

Jeff McKean