9 Useful Tutorials on Black and White Portraiture


Everyone loves the traditional charm of a classic black and white portrait. Black and white can add depth, drama and glamour to your shot and so, here are some great basic (and not so basic) black and white portrait tips and tricks to get you on your way.

Photo by Federico Alegría

5 black and white tips – to start with, Digital Photography School gives 5 great tips for black and white photography that are general in nature, but have direct application to portraits and are worth knowing. The basics of shooting a decent image technically are covered. Following these tips will ensure you get the best from your black and white portraits.

Basic Photoshop Portrait Tutorial – this straightforward photoshop tutorial on Squidoo (I know, right!?) will allow you to turn that average colour shot into a more interesting black and white portrait. Be sure to follow the links to the associated photoshop tutorials that go into a little more detail on specific areas of the photoshop process.

Black and white portrait – often, simply desaturating your colour photo in photoshop can negatively impact the shot's contrast. This tutorial will ensure your portrait remains sharp and maintains enough contrast to remain interesting.

Create a Classic Black and White Portrait (Video) – this video takes you through a photoshop grey-scale conversion including adding a film grain layer to achieve a classic look. This one is great if you learn better by seeing things done rather than reading about it.

Black and White Portrait Styling from Film's Golden Age (Video) – achieve that 1940s style soft glamour via this video tutorial using layer masks and gausian blur. This one is a fun experiment to try on some of your existing portraits too.

Photo by Syam

Metallic Black and White Portrait Toning (Video) – if that soft Hollywood glamour shot is not for you, this photoshop tutorial shows you how to create a dramatic, high contrast image. We'd also strongly recommend that you check out some of the other great videos by the guy who made this one.

Black and White Studio Portraits – this tutorial shows you techniques that help you create dramatic black and white studio portraits using studio lighting. They are using their own kit which you can buy (as a kit), but you can also get the equipment at any photography retailer or even on Ebay. The tutorial is great for seeing the effects of different studio lighting setups.

Black and White Portrait Photography: Made Easy – some interesting equipment tips for black and white film photography

12 Unmissable Tutorials on High Key Photography – and don't forget, Lightstalking already featured some awesome tutorials on high key photography. Your black and white portraits with pop with these tutorials on this dramatic effect.

Have you seen any great black and white portrait tutorials that you think we missed? Have you written one yourself? Share them in the comments!

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography started as a child with a Kodak Instamatic and pushed him into building this fantastic place all these years later, and you can get to know him better here.
Rob's Gear
Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

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