A Beginner’s Guide to Black and White Photography

Video journalist Logan Baker over at Shutterstock put together a handy primer for anybody who is looking to get into black-and-white photography for the first time. The tutorial amounts to an easy-to-follow beginner’s guide that we highly recommend you check out if you’re just getting started in this genre.

Baker starts the video by admitting that, when he initially started to create this content, he felt like a fraud.

“The truth is, I don’t know a lot about black-and-white photography. Or, I didn’t, and I wanted to seem like I did,” says Baker. “I don’t know a lot, but I’m trying to learn, and these past few weeks I’ve been taking pictures, listening to podcasts, listening to tutorials, reading articles, and I think I have somewhat of an understanding of what it means to take a good black and white photo.”

Not only is Baker’s honesty refreshing, but the fact that he’s approaching this from an amateur’s perspective might even make the video that much more useful. Things that would seem obvious to an expert might not to beginners like Baker, and the majority of what he covers falls into that “primer” category that’s perfect if you’re just starting out.

We won’t dive into the specifics in writing, but Baker covers what to look for when capturing black-and-white images, including: the shadows and contrast in your scene, the textures and colors that you’re working with, and why you might want to try working with black-and-white film once you’re comfortable converting your digital files to black-and-white.

Check out the full video above, and then feel free to drop more tips, tricks and techniques for beginners to black-and-white photography in the comments.