Do you constantly find yourself wondering about editing tricks or secrets that can give your black and white photography an outstanding look? What are those tricks that can elevate your photos through simple editing? Well, here’s something that you will surely help you out.
Whether it is on Instagram or in movies, monochrome is something that always leaves us spellbound. There’s something about black and white photography that can’t be found in your regular colored photography. Even in the absence of colors, such photographs catch our attention and induce certain emotions.
Even though during the initial days of the cameras, Black and White photography was not an option but a necessity, the photography style is still a big thing in this age where we have high-tech cameras that can even show us the surface of the moon. This can be easily witnessed on platforms like Instagram where the hashtags such as #blackandwhitephotography are pretty common with more than a million posts. The best part about black and white photography is that it doesn’t require any particular camera. Any camera can do the job well as long as you have the right photo editing skills.
Here’s what to consider while doing Black and White photo editing
If you want to do good black and white photography editing then here’s what you should consider.
Black and white photography is all about showing off the angles and the compositions that you do. Since there is no distraction of color, one can solely focus on the compositions and the shapes in the photo.
To cut the distractions, even more, you can crop the image and cut the blank spaces in the photograph that don’t contribute to the aesthetic of your picture. You can try different compositions like a frame within the frame, rule of thirds, etc.
Simple cropping can help you experiment with your picture more and more. This way, you can add variations to a single picture and use it as you want.
Some examples of good framing
2. True Black and Whites
The important aspect of black and white photography editing is that one needs to work on those pure blacks and pure whites. They are the ones that help in getting the right attention and help in defining the shapes and textures in your image.
You can easily do this using the clarity setting and dehazing. You can also make changes to the highlight setting that controls the whites in your pictures. You can increase it or decrease it to get it right. And for the blacks, you can adjust the shadows setting. This can give you exactly what you want.
Some examples of true black and whites
For most parts, black and white photography editing is all about the contrast. This is why you need to look for areas in your photograph where there’s high contrast. Like the areas where the light and dark co-exist. This gives you control over overemphasizing the relation between dark and light scenes. That way, you can create shapes and forms and work on the edges in your photograph.
It includes working with the shadows and the bright areas in your picture. Contrast is what’s going to stand out in your final picture. So, to make it outstanding, make sure that you have achieved just the right contrast.
Some examples of good contrast
Another thing that you must keep in mind is the texture. When you decide to click black and white photos, the texture is what’s going to stand out. Since there are no colors, things like these matter a lot. Texture can take your picture to the next level.
So, it is best to embrace it in your photograph. It helps you in giving an extra dimension to your photograph. It makes the photograph more realistic.
Some examples of amazing texture
5. Shooting Raw
The last thing that you must consider for black and white photography editing is shooting your pictures in RAW. Yes, RAW files are somewhat easier to edit as they give you more control over your pictures.
You can make any kind of changes as you want like changing the contrast, increasing or decreasing the shadows, play with the exposure, etc.
Some Mistakes to Avoid While Doing Black and White Photography Editing
Now that you know what you should be doing to get the best pictures, here’s what you should not do in order to get outstanding images. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can actually enhance your image along with your photo editing skills.
1. Excessive Contrast
We told you before that you must work on the contrast to get the right picture but for that, you need to imagine the kind of photo you want as the end result. But do you know that if there’s too much contrast then it can damage your picture by taking away all the important details?
So, make sure that the contrast isn’t too much. The same goes for too little contrast.
If there’s a lack of contrast, then you won’t be able to bring out the magic in your photograph and the entire picture will look somewhat dull. So, make sure that the contrast is just right when you are doing black and white photo editing.
2. Not Adjusting White Balance
Just because it’s a black and white picture, does not mean that you should just ignore the white balance. Even a monochrome picture contains a wide range of shade of grey. That is the only thing that can help you create contrast and put the focus on the texture.
If you are shooting a colorful image and converting it to black and white, the colors will disperse into shades of grey. So, when you adjust the white balance, the contrast of those shades also changes.
3. Bad Framing
While editing, don’t neglect the frame. Even if you have changed the contrast and shadows to make it look good, make sure that you have to use the right framing. Most of the time, it’s band framing that limits the range of your edit. So, make sure that the framing is right. You can always make adjustments by cropping the image to get the desired frame.
4. Not Working on the Grays
Limiting your photo to just black and white colors is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. In bnw images, there are plenty of grays that need your attention. So, make sure that you enhance them and establish their prominence in your image rather than just focusing on just black and white.
5. Editing too much
And lastly, don’t go overboard with the photo editing. When you edit your image into black and white, it is easy to do too much contrast and put clarity on high. This can not only take away the essence of your image but also downgrade it. So, make sure that you keep it subtle and enough to achieve the goal that you had in mind rather than taking it too far. Take your time with the editing and think it through.
Also Read: How to Fix the 10 Most Common Photo Editing Mistakes
Black and white photography editing is just like your regular photo editing. It is all about processing your image just right to make it pleasing and outstanding. The key is to work on the contrast and texture. It can take you to the end result and give you the picture that you want.
It is important that you capture the picture right before taking it to the editing table. Capturing in color helps you add more range to your black and white image when you do the editing.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to make a picture black and white?
In order to turn your image black and white, there are plenty of photo editing tools. If it’s your first time, you can use automated editing tools like Snapseed and Pixlr. For advanced editing, you can go for Lightroom and Photoshoot. They give you more control over the images that you want to edit.
2. How to get a black and white photo?
There are two ways to do that. First, you can take a black and white picture by changing camera settings to monochrome. This way, you can control the outcome while capturing the photo. Or else, you can just use a photo editing tool to convert your colored picture into black and white.
3. Why should I shoot a black and white photo?
It depends entirely on the purpose of capturing the image. If you want to show colors in your frame then there’s no point in taking black and white pictures. But if you want to put emphasis on shapes, and texture, you can go for a black and white photoshoot. The lack of color can divert all the attention to the shapes and the contrast and make your image stand out.