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Tips & ideas > Take better photos: black and white photography basics
Take better photos: black and white photography basics
Digital photography techniques for black and white photography including camera settings and creative ideas for shots.
Why shoot black and white?
Think of Ansel Adams' majestic black and white landscapes, and you can appreciate the power that's possible when you leave color behind. Use black and white (or monochrome, as it's also called) techniques to heighten drama and emotion in your photos, to give pictures a timeless quality.
Explore contrast
Contrast-the difference between the light and dark areas in a photo-is an essential part of black and white photography. There are three levels of contrast that you can experiment with when you shoot:
High contrast, which means striking white and black tones, heightens tension and adds drama to photos.
Normal contrast provides the most "realistic" image, with a balanced range of black, gray to white tones.
Low contrast keeps tones mostly in the mid-range, so there are lots of grays.
Add drama and emotion to portraits
Emotional occasions, such as weddings or tender childhood moments are ideal opportunities to shoot black and white. And don't forget group shots-black and white shots mean that clashing clothing isn't a problem.
Black and white shot ideas
Many artists use black and white photography because it helps viewers focus on the subject and composition without the distraction of color.
Try shooting interesting patterns, textures or lines in nature. Details that are barely noticeable in color become more prominent and poetic.
Baby pictures, wedding photos, family portraits, whether candid or posed, gain a classic quality when shot in black and white.
From the mountains to your backyard, landscape shots look magnificent in black and white.
Black and white camera settings
Digital cameras offer a few choices for creating black and white photos.
You can select the black and white shooting mode on your camera. Or you can convert photos in your camera. Look through your camera's manual to learn more about these functions.
Walgreens also allows you to convert photos to black & and white. Go to your Walgreens photo library, click edit & organize, then fix & enhance. Select the images you want to modify and then apply black and white tint available under the fun tab.
Creative use for your black and white photos
  • Showcase your favorite shots in frames from Walgreens.
  • Give your favorite photo a black and white tint and add it to a photo ornament for an elegant gift.
  • Black and white posters provide an artistic way to enjoy your photos and enhance your decor.