grayscale photo of girl in black shirt
Photo by Elizaveta Dushechkina on

Have you ever thought about doing BLACK AND WHITE? Don’t you think it’s interesting that the best photographers are almost always doing some black and white along with their color?

The one reason, I can think of is that for some reason, black and white has remained something artistic in the art world. Getting a good black and white photo is actually harder than some color. Getting the contrast just right, the proper exposure, etc. is all part of doing good black and white photos.

Let’s look at some reasons why you should try black and white:

1. Black and white helps you see differently:

First of all, black and white has been around a long time. And the interesting thing is that once Kodachrome came into place, many photographers still preferred shooting in black and white. Even the famous photographers, like Ansel Adams, shot black and white almost exclusively.

Ansel Adams shot black and white and did it because he had to think about different things with black and white.

One reason is that black and white presents interesting creative problems. The world looks different in black and white, which means that you can think about tone, texture, and light in new ways. In fact, when you remove color, the emphasis of an image naturally shifts to other compositional elements.

For some photographers, this can feel freeing; you’re no longer stuck thinking constantly about color but can instead focus on the more fundamental aspects of photography: tone and light.

To see the most amazing collection of today’s best photographers, 123PhotoGo, has a website with a gallery of just “black and white” photos. To see the artistic side of black and white, go to:

As you’re probably aware, not all great color images will translate well to black and white. But the inverse is also true: certain images that look great and black and white won’t look good in color, which means that you’ll have a whole new set of photo opportunities to contemplate.

monochrome photo of desert
Photo by Dave Drost on

Ultimately, this emphasis on tone and light over colorful hues will help you see the world differently – and may even result in a brand-new photographic style.


Color itself can take away emphasis on contrast, texture, lighting, shape, and form. If you’re photographing a weathered man with a face full of wrinkles, black and white will highlight the texture of the wrinkles, the intensity of the man’s age. Whereas color will simply distract the viewer and prevent them from seeing what the photo is all about.

Black and white will also eliminate those funny color casts that often occur on some color photos. You just don’t get distracted by those issues.


grayscale photo of a polar bear cub
Photo by Robert Anthony Carbone on

Since the world is in color, it is safe to say that color photography is more realistic and descriptive. A color photo depicts the world as it really is – whereas black and white photos only show a version of reality, one that seems more interpretive and creative.

In a sense, this can help you break free from certain restraints. Without color, you don’t have to show the world as it is; instead, you can show what you see, which might involve unusual relationships, interesting shadows, beautiful textures, and so on.

Ultimately, when you take away color, you remove what your viewer is used to seeing. Suddenly, you have to capture the viewer’s attention without the help of color – which also means that you’re free to have fun, experiment, and show the world in a completely new, creative way.

So in a way, black and white forces you to think, but it makes you more creative in the process.

greyscale photography of woman holding umbrella
Photo by Kha Ruxury on

4- Black and white adds emotion and mood to the photo:

Take a look at the photos used in this blog so far. Do you have any sense of emotion or mood? Do you feel anything when you look at these photos?

Personally, I think black and white photos almost always create a wonderful mood – or in cases where the mood is already present, the B&W conversion makes it even more intense.

Why does black and white photography go hand in hand with moodiness? I’m not completely sure, but something about tonal range, rich blacks, and deep contrast just appeals to us psychologically. It creates an emotional connection, and it makes you stop, look around, and pay attention.

Photo by Artemios Karavas / The Art of Black and White


Here’s a common reason why photographers shoot in black and white:

It adds a timelessness to your images.

For one, black and white photography has existed since the beginnings of photography, which means that a black and white image cannot instantly be dated. Also, color schemes change over time, especially in clothing, business logos, cars, and architecture. Therefore, a color image will often include datable elements – but in black and white, these features may be much harder to place.

Personally, I feel that black and white photos seem to transcend reality. Look at the image below. Can you tell when it was taken? Is it a recent shot? Is it from 50 years ago? Or does it exist outside of time?

That’s the power of black and white!


Now that you’ve finished this article, you’re hopefully convinced that black and white is worth trying.

To get started, switch your camera over to its Monochrome mode. Spend time experimenting with black and white. Learn to see with new eyes!

To see the most amazing collection of today’s best photographers, 123PhotoGo, has a website with a gallery of just “black and white” photos. To see the artistic side of black and white, go to:

Much of this article was written originally by: Nisha Ramroop

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