How To Photograph Black And White Landscapes

Learn How To Photograph Black And White Landscapes: Black and White landscape photography tips


A powerful black and white photograph requires some contrast. Look for subjects that have luminosity (brightness) that contrast each other. Try composing a bright subject against a dark background, or vice versa to create some visual impact.

Look for shape and texture:

Shape and texture look amazing in black and white, a monochrome image can often show texture that is not noticeable in colour. Look for subjects with a lot of texture. Without colour to distract you these details will become much more obvious in the photograph.

Seeing in black and white:

‘Seeing’ in B&W is often very often difficult, but one benefit of digital cameras is that you can set the camera to black and white (monochrome) mode. You will then be able to ‘see’ the scene in black and white in the live view, or if your camera has one, the electronic viewfinder.

Control your exposure:

If a black and white photograph is underexposed it will just look like a ‘muddy’ grey image. A strong black and white image requires a pure white and, ideally, a pure black, to give it contrast. Use exposure compensation (or full manual mode) to control the exposure of your photograph.

Join us to capture some black and white landscapes on our 4 Day Long Exposure Masterclass on the Bay of Islands on the 16th – 19th of November 2018.

About the Author
Richard Young is a full-time landscape and wildlife photographer based in Wellington. He has been guiding groups of photographers in New Zealand since 2010 and founded New Zealand Photography Workshops in 2013.

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