Find your inspiration.
Working in black and white can help you to see the world in a new way. And if you’re looking for a place to start, consider one of these photography topics.
Explore monochrome landscapes.
Nature is a hotbed of inspiration, especially when it comes to black-and-white photography. Look for scenes with contrasting textures, distinct shapes or dramatic lighting. These features add depth to your image and interest for the viewer. If you capture whitecaps in the ocean set against a smooth, overcast sky, for example, the tonal differences will make your photo stand out. With colour out of the equation, your landscape shot relies on contrast and shadows to make an impression.
Take to the streets.
Street photography is a classic way to work in black and white. Since street photography is all about capturing the moment and exploring the world around you, the artist can’t always control what makes it into the frame. From colourful billboards to bright yellow school buses, you never know what objects will distract the viewer in a colour photo. But with black and white, you can direct the eye and highlight the subject of your image every time. Plus, street photography is a wonderful way to open yourself up to the world — which is often the perfect way to find new inspiration.
Document your favourite animals.
Animals and pets are always trickier to capture on film than you think. Pets don’t always take direction well and wild animals will often run away when they catch sight of you. With black-and-white photos, you can remove distractions, highlight patterns in fur and keep the viewer’s focus on the animal.
The art of black-and-white photography is a skill to learn, just like any other. But without the confusion of colour, it’s a wonderful starting ground for beginners, as well as for photographers looking to advance their skills. Next time you’re ready to snap a photo, consider what it would look like in grayscale. You might just find a new art form to pursue.