Black and White Art in Photography

Early photography, due to technical limitations, was often much more black and white. With the rapid development of photography technology, we are in an era of highly developed information and technology. There are still many photographers who favor this form of black and white photography.

The shooting method of black and white photography can make the photographic space and the essence of shooting more unique and narrative. The pure black and white images are simple and subtle, full of imagination, infinitely close to the facts but abstract.

As a form of artistic expression, black and white photography, although it is a minority, tends to be more rational.

1.Choose a theme 

In the choice of subject matter, it can be considered in combination with the characteristics of black and white.

For example, it is very suitable to use black and white to photograph buildings. The outline, structure and layers of buildings will be more prominent after filtering out complex colors, with a strong sense of outline and an extraordinary artistic atmosphere.

Humanities and documentary subjects are shot in black and white, which can reduce the guiding effect of color on the viewer, allowing them to shift their attention to the content of the screen itself, and better tell the photographer’s emotions. Portraits of people are shot in black and white, which can show the appearance, personality, emotions, etc. of the characters vividly, and the details of the facial texture of the characters will make the picture more textured.

  1. Light and dark contrast

Strong contrasting elements will help your black and white photos stand out in front of your audience. Without it, you may find your black and white images appear dull or flat. By looking for bright whites amidst deep blacks, it energizes and brings focus to the piece.

3.Use shadows

With black and white images, shadows are no longer just darker areas of the image that add depth. Shadows can be the essence or focus of a black and white photo. You will find that shadows in black and white images are a central compositional element. Think carefully about where the shadows will fall and how they will appear in the black and white photo. They may bring a pronounced abruptness or a subtler intensity to the image.


Texture can appear more visible in black and white photos without the interference of color. This obviously helps add depth to the photo. Also be careful not to be too strong, as the texture is too strong to affect the mood of the photo. Rough or smooth; regular or irregular: they make things feel. If you need to control the appearance of textures in a shot, side lighting can help enhance textures, while front lighting is usually flatter.

5.Screen composition

If there is no color o focus attention and attract the eye, how to arrange the subject in the frame in a black and white photo becomes even more critical. Think about focal points and use composition rules carefully, such as the rule of thirds and leading lines, to make sure the viewer is sent and kept there. Patterns stand out especially in black and white, and using picture-in-picture really helps with concentration when no obvious color is drawn. Negative space is also a great way to focus, and combined with the strong contrast, it makes for striking black and white photos.

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