Black and white photography is mysterious

With these 5 tips you can take great photos in black and white

Reading time: 7 minutes

Black and white photos have always had a very special attraction for people - they appear noble, timeless, often more mysterious than classic color photographs and refine, perfectly staged, every gallery in your home.

So there are many reasons to take a closer look at it. Who knows, maybe you will soon be shooting exclusively in black and white? We have five tips on how to best approach this form of photography.

1. Rethinking is the be-all and end-all

With a picture that should appear in black and white, completely different things are important than with a color photo. While you should definitely pay attention to the colors and play of colors with the latter, the former is more important Surfaces, structures and silhouettes in the foreground. At the beginning you should try out a lot, with a little experience you will often see at a later stage what could work well in the camera - but to do this you first have to learn to look beyond the obvious and to think in black and white. A good exercise here is often that Architectural photography, because with its clear structures and shadow play, it is an ideal exercise object that waits patiently until you have mastered various tricks and can still lead to spectacular results in the end, as with this object here:


To the Pixum website

2. Photographically "tidy up" in a chaotic world

The already mentioned architectural photography is a good example of this and you can also find yourself everywhere else in our apparently so “untidy” world Find recurring structures, geometric shapes and evenness. They are part of that hidden world, the mindset of which, as a beginner in black and white photography, you first have to find your way into - because it is ideally suited to play with. As a photographer, you can, for example, choose existing columns to organize and "stabilize" a photo. If you also stage people for this, the pillars can direct the view in a desired way. For such a photo you have to lie in wait and bring some time and patience with you. But then you will also be rewarded with a great result.

3. It's not all black and white

As in real life, not everything in black and white photography is black and, well, white. The shades of grey in between are at least as crucial for a great picture. you create depth, can make the depicted look more interesting and make the entire photo more complex. Precisely for this reason, you should shoot your pictures in color, whether you take photos with your smartphone or the SLR, and only later with one Image editing program Convert to black and white, as the “black and white” program of many cameras does not even register many color gradations and the picture therefore looks much flatter in the end than if you convert it to black and white later, for example with the image processing program of the Pixum Photo World software.

4. Don't be too perfectionist

In the past, every photo was black and white - because the technology was simply not capable of anything else. There were also other technical difficulties with large, expensive cameras that any smartphone today can playfully handle. Blurring, picture noise, all these things were still quite normal back then, there was no other way, and to this day we still refer to many of the pictures from back then as great photographic art. Sometimes these small imperfect sides of a photo underline its charm or emotionality. So don't spend too long taking a technically perfect picture, but ask yourself: What effect do I want to achieve with my photo? Which story should be told? Try to consciously adopt unusual perspectives in your pictures, even at the risk of doing something wrong. Blurring, new angles and blurring effects may arise because you did something wrong, but often create a special atmosphere, especially in black and white photography.

5. Make use of the black and white effect

Even if working in black and white should not be regarded as the "lazy" variant to make a boring or bad photo somehow useful, the black and white effect can actually save a lot - especially in those moments when poor lighting conditions are actually nice Ruin photo. This is often the case, for example, when you take photos backstage at a school theater performance or in the evening at a family celebration, where many emotional moments arise, but artificial light and candles bathe the surroundings in the photos in an ugly yellowish or brownish light. If you then convert the images to black and white, the viewer can concentrate on the depicted scene and the people shown without being distracted by the unsightly colors. Try it!

Did you like this post? What topics would you like to see here on the blog in the future? We look forward to your ideas! Have you successfully designed your first black and white photographs and are you enthusiastic about the result? Then design a Pixum photo book with it - or give them a place of honor in your apartment as a noble Alu-Dibond print. We recommend the retro photos in the box as special memories.

To the Pixum website