There was a time all photos were made in black & white. Even when I started my days of photojournalism, we primarily shot, developed, and printed in black and white. Now the default is color and we have to adjust to get the images from a color to a monochromatic version.

But Black and white photography is so much more than stripping away the color.


Great black and white images tend to exploit contrast. The difference between the whitest white and the blackest black is the highest contrast point in the picture and this can be used to draw the viewer’s eye. Good contrast can help add depth and dimension as well. Fortunately an HDR source image can make a superior black and white photo due to the increased contrast range.

Compelling black and white images rely on tone and texture to take the place of color and hue. This can be accomplished in many ways. Remember to use both lighting and HDR techniques to enhance texture.  You may also choose to go for a graininess that can be added in post or acquired when shooting by using a high ISO.


If you’re looking to convert to Black and White, here are some great options:

Disclaimer: These are just a few ways to make great black and white images.

Remember to explore the HDR Learning Center for more on High Dynamic Range photography.


This Post Sponsored by: Learn photography anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace—from bite-sized tutorials to comprehensive courses. Try free for 10 days by visiting Photofocus.

Mosaic A complete solution for photographers using Lightroom who want to manage and share their photos. You can easily view images with their iOS app or web service. Plus your photos are backed up to the cloud with several plans to match your needs.

The HDR Learning Center Check out new ways to use High Dynamic Range photography to make compelling images. Free tutorials and posts to get results. Produced in partnership with HDR Soft.

500px Join the world’s premier photo community. 500px lets you discover, share, buy and sell inspiring photographs.

Drobo Not only is Drobo 5D fast, but it’s easy-to-use, expandable, flexible, and protected.

The Topaz Labs Image Enhancement bundle. Open up a world of creative possibilities with a seamless, integrated workflow. You don’t need to be a Photoshop wizard to look like one. Click here and use the code photofocus to get a 15% discount.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

Comments are closed.

About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus and Creative Cloud User as well as an author on Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.


HDR, Shooting


, ,