While landscapes is the end goal of this advice list, it is not the only focus: After all, if you don't even know that the art of capturing black and white photos consists of a little more than simply switching your setting to monochrome, then the basic advice contained in the first few selections will be of great use to you. Overall, the list varies from the technical to the aspirational, from relying on your intuition solely to utilizing Photoshop to make mother nature that much more majestic.
The list of thirteen articles crosses a wide variety of websites that we think offer some really solid advice for helping both beginners and veterans alike with insights that are field tested and considered best practices as well as aesthetic and spiritual considerations in the production of monochrome masterpieces.
Image via Pixabay.
Some Great Introductions to Black and White Photography
“How to Take Black and White Pictures” – from Photography Life
A basic primer on how to take monochrome photos – gotta crawl before you can play ball! Tips include understanding contrast, settings, and how to set up the shot.
“Black and White Landscape Photography Tips” from SLR Photography Guide
SLR Photography Guide offers excellent advice on how to turn your digital SLR camera into a monochrome powerhouse. This article offers advice for digital camera owners and while the advice given in the other articles is general enough to be applied universally, digital cameras feature a few quirks that are worth noting before setting out for a shoot.
“6 Black and White Photography Tips” for Monochrome Enthusiasts from Petapixel
Petapixel’s 6 tips for monochrome photography are more nuanced and speak to a somewhat seasoned photographer, including advice like “burn and shoot” using Photoshop’s “Dodge” and “Burn” tools. This advice is best read after you have a working knowledge of black and white photography gleaned from Amateur Photographer and Photography Life.
“15 Tips For Stunning Black and White Photography” from Improve Photography
Improve Photography’s tips are comprehensive and best for seasoned photographers that have not yet done a lot of work in black and white. Tips include pay attention to noise and spotting lines and patterns in scenes. Crystallizes and builds upon the basic advice introduced in the preceding articles.
“The Lost Art Of Shooting Black-And-White Photos” from Outdoor Photographer
Outdoor Photographer’s tips are similarly comprehensive as Improve Photography’s but offer more advice on how to use tools like Photoshop to improve the look of your monochrome captures. This advice is focused on how to view mother nature through the eyes of a black and white photography veteran and how to set up shows with the potential to look like Ansel Adam's style masterpieces.
“How to master black and white photography” from Tech Radar
While you would not expect it,
Tech Radar has some excellent advice on how to take photos. This should polish off the basics for you and make you ready to focus on capturing landscapes in black and white. photo by jordymeow
Tutorials Specifically For Landscape Photography
“Improve Your Black & White Landscapes Instantly By Following One Simple Rule” from Ephotozine
Capping off the basics and mastery advice,
Ephotozine discusses the importance of separating the elements in a good black and white photo.
“10 Tips on How to Create Better Black & White Images” from BH Photo Video
BH Photo Video will tell you how to make your black and white pictures look like film noir stills from the Golden Age of Hollywood – this website is focused on advice for creating artistic prints and stylistic creations.
“Mono magic: Black and white landscape photography” from Amateur Photographer
Some more advice on how to get started in black and white photography. More in depth than the above and focused on the beginnings of landscape monochrome photography.
“5 Black and White Landscape Photography Tips” from CreativeLive Blog
CreativeLive Blog’s tips are the perfect starting point for monochrome landscape photography beginners, with five tips that should get you on the right path to taking epic black and white landscapes.
“6 Tips to Help You Make Better Black and White Landscape Photos” from Digital Photography School
Digital Photography School’s 6 tips for black and white photographers builds upon the information provided by CreativeLive Blog’s tips but with a more in-depth approach, including the prior consideration of what would be an ideal monochrome setting for your photography as well as the more aspirational/motivational tips like “ignore what others are doing” and my personal favorite, “travel.” While the quality of advice such as “travel” could be debatable, the aphorism to ignore others is valuable but only after you know what you are actually doing. Once you have established some idea of what makes a good black and white photograph, you can develop your own techniques towards achieving that end or even experiment with unconventional setups in pursuit of that unique still.
“Five Tips for Shooting Black and White Landscapes” from FStoppers
FStoppers, including how to factor the weather into your black and white landscapes. Weather can have a huge impact on the way a black and white photograph presentes because it also directly impacts the amount of light available to the photographer. As established above, light is essential to striking black and white photos.
“Shades of Gray: Tips for Black & White Landscape Photography” from Craftsy
Craftsy’s tips are exclusively geared toward black and white landscape photography and not black and white photography in general – you should know your game before taking this advice. It also focuses on the importance of using contrast in black and white photos. photo by Archie Binamira
This list is by no means comprehensive and there are probably many more amazing resources out there for you to consider. But as a starting point, you can't do much better than the above. Now that you have some idea of what black and white photography is about, grab the nearest camera and literally give it a shot. Leave your own tips and experiences in the comments below!