If you're wondering about using black and white and about this blog topic, yes there is a right and wrong time to use black and white. Sure you can use a clack and white filter on any image... But is it any good? What I'm trying to get at is this, when we are at a loss for editing or ideas we use black and white filters, along with trying to salvage a grainy or blown up image. While the concept may sound like a good idea on paper, it may not be a great idea on the computer.

I've always been a firm believer in the right black and white, while there are so many, choosing the right one that best suits your image and tells a story is what helps define the black and white you use. Along with defining the image as well. Below are a few helpful tips and rules I follow when using black and white.

  • What is the mood you are trying to show and the emotion behind it?
  • What is your main reasoning behind wanting ti use black and white?
  • Does this image deserve a MATTE black and white?
  • Does this image deserve a MOODY more contrasty black and white?
  • Stay away from using black in white in the event you are unsure of how to use properly tell a story with it. 
  • Try not to use black and white for under exposed or not properly exposed images (flash, low light, out of focus, etc)

What I mean by mood and emotion for black and white is the overall feeling you are trying to get with it. Is the mood dark and sinister or is it romantic and dreamy? Black and white has a way of being able to pull good and bad out of an image.

Your main reasoning for choosing to make an image black and white. Should be a reason you feel with your heart, not one that another photographer would choose.

Should my images be matte black? Thats all on your emotion behind the image.

Should my images be moody? What story are you trying to tell and the emotion behind it as well?

Like stated before, USE black and white for an emotion or feeling, not when you run out of ideas. A client would be appalled if you ran out of ideas or didn't know how to edit.

If an image has used flash or poorly exposed lighting and may either be super grainy already or have loads of shadows caused by using pop up flash, etc. Don't us black and white to cover it up or fix it. it will bring out your shadows even more by canceling out the colors to look at. In other words, it narrows down what may be wrong with an image by having less obvious color options.


Hope this helps you find the perfect black and white for your images. Happy editing :) 

sara fredetteComment