Ask anyone who specializes in black and white photography what makes it great despite the absence of color, and they will give you a variety of answers. It has a timeless and elegant quality. It forces you to examine the composition and pay more attention to the story. It’s an effective way to demonstrate the contrast of light and shadows. Just to name a few.

However, all of that boils down to one word: intention. This is what Ohio-based Matt Day discussed beautifully in the video above. He explains what shooting with intention means to him, and why it especially applies to his black and white photography. Much of it involves looking at things that aren’t left to chance or changes in color — like moment and emotion — and how he can use them as basis for his composition.

He also reminds us that shooting black and white isn’t as easy as shooting anything and everything in your camera’s black and white mode, or converting any image into black and white in post process. “Not every photo is gonna translate as well when it’s black and white.”

If you’re thinking of shooting primarily in black and white, hopefully, his insights and tips will inspire you to get into the monochrome mindset!