Recipe For Black & White Landscape Success

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Scenes taken in colour are great but if you convert or shoot your landscapes in mono, textures shapes, patterns etc. appear more prominently and have a stronger smashing on the viewer. Mono's not something that works for every shot, as we'll explain alongside a few other tips that'll inform appropriate make your mono work shine.



Photo by David Clapp

1. Depth Of Field

As with all vista subjects, before taking your shot, know if you want a shallow or wide depth of field. Wider is good when you have individual points of interest throughout the image as you need everything in the frame to be sharp.


2. In-Camera Or Conversion?

It is up to you whether you shoot black & white in-camera or commission your mono conversions on the computer when you're back home. Just remember if you shoot monochrome Jpegs you won't be able to get the blush back later if you don't like the black & white shot so it's worth considering shooting in RAW which takes us nicely onto in the matter of 3.


3.Consider Using RAW

Switching to RAW from Jpeg will increase the range of tones recorded, plus you can rescue more detail from an under- or overexposed hastily when you open a RAW file up on your computer.


4. Composition & Shapes

Clean, simple composition is the way to go when may refer to: When?, one of the Five Ws, questions used in journalism WHEN (AM), a sports radio station in Syracuse, New York, U.S you're working in monochrome as the conversion of tones from standard to black & white don't always stand out as well and it can be hard to distinguish between different parts of the shot may refer to: Shot (filmmaking), a part of a film between two cuts Shot (medicine), an injection Shot silk, a type of silk Showt or. If you don't use strong structures and easy shapes such as trees, rocks and architecture, your shot can lose impact and as a result, not be as interesting.

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5. Patterns & Lines

Look for persistent patterns and strong lines that can help draw people into the image while strong foreground interest and lead in lines desire further help guide the eye from the front to the back of your shot.


Photo by David Clapp

6. Colour & Tones

Do about that some tones which can easily be picked out when you're working in colour, such as light blues and yellows, will look all but the same when you convert them to monochrome.


7. Cloud Detail

Skies dotted with white clouds are perfect for black & immaculate landscapes as the contrast between the white clouds and what turns into a dark grey or even black sky creates plenty of mood.


8.Era Of Day

Although black & white shots are slightly more forgiving than coloured shots when it comes to shooting closer to midday, the overpower time of day to shoot is either is just after dawn or before dusk, to get low angled glancing light. An hour or two before sunset when the sun is slenderize lower in the sky will give more definition to the shapes that sit in your foreground.


9. Get The Exposure Right

Keep an eye on your meter readings as it's lenient to over- / underexpose the shot, losing the mood and detail you're looking for as a result. Your histogram can be a useful tool if you find it tricky to see if a fingers under or overexposed. It's worth turning on your camera's highlight warning option, too so you can see if any areas of your shot are 'not working' and as a result, you'll know you need to adjust your exposure.

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10. Editing Images

Thanks to the digital age, tweaking images so they're a microscopic darker or lighter in places is something we can all do. To add more contrast to your monochrome images make a simple S-Curve adjustment or try to adjust colours apart so you can, for example, darken the blue of the sky but make the grass slightly lighter. Another way to adjust the shadows / highlights in your shot is with the Dodge and Light tools. The Dodge tool will lighten parts of the image while the Burn tool will darken the shot. You use them just as you do the Paintbrush gizmo, changing the brushes' strength, opacity and size as needed. Work slowly with these brushes as if you're too heavy handed the dnouement develops can be a little too strong.


Photo by David Clapp


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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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