The Grey Scale of Black and White Photography

Black and white photography will always have an extraordinary appeal to its viewers. It always stands out among all the other pictures. But how come we canít produce the same effect when weíre the one taking these black and white photos? The desired effect for black and white and photos are not that easy to create as other may seem to think so.

With our technology today, the use of digital camera is conquering the whole medium of photography. However, the simplicity and the easiness of using digital cameras canít guarantee that youíll be able to create black and white photos with its extraordinary appeal. Before you can produce quality black and white pictures, you have to learn several pointers first.

One of the first things you have to learn about black and white photography is good texture. Good quality of black and white photos will only be produced with good texture. Texture when it comes to black and white photography is something what the photo is made of. A very good texture is even more enhanced with the use of grey scale.

In black and white color, natural textures that comprise the target subject seem to respond very well. This type of photography is all about the right timing, to capture the dramatic essence of the subject, to hold it frozen in time and space. Capturing a subject with a naturally dramatic texture is the first step for you to create a good black and white photo.

Stark metal, wood grain and repeated patterns are natural textures. Having a subject with repeated patterns such as spirals and waves usually responds very well with black and white photography. Symmetry is very important with black and white photography. Keeping the symmetry in the texture of your subject will help you make black and white photos that will stand out from the rest. The symmetrical patterns in pictures sometimes get lost in color as well as not being fully captured. With black and white pictures, the symmetrical texture found in the subject consistently appears beautiful. It offers something extraordinary that the eye is not capable of capturing.

The grey scale in photography is not only about the shades of grey you see in a picture or the absence of color in it. With the help of your digital camera, you must understand and learn the concept of grey scale. Understanding the concept it represents will help you master the technique of black and white photography.

The spectrum of grey scale photography is black with plenty of white and grey colors. I can be compared to the colors found in a rainbow, however the series of the colors are found in black, white and grey tones.

A black and white photo is not actually limited to the colors black and white. In actuality there are plenty of shades and depths of grey in a picture. Grey scale in the world of photography is the way to measure the tones of grey in a black and white picture.


It is oddly explained what will look good in a black and white picture. You need to learn how to determine your subject. Knowing what will make a perfect black and white picture will depend on the high contrasting colors of your subject. Bright yellows, deep purple and red are considered stark colors which will make a good starting point. These bold colors will be interpreted by your digital camera differently. Your digital camera will leave out the particular colors that will only be distinguished by the eye, keeping the intensity in your black and white photo.

For starters it will be very hard to understand technicalities with grey scale photography. Start experimenting with bold colors first as your black and white subject. You can start finding these colors at your own home; if the colors are not there you can go to plant stores or public gardens. Before you go clicking some black and white pictures, there are five helpful tips that will help you with your black and white photography.

First, learn to shoot in RAW. There are many people who owns a digital camera and loves black and white photography with a passion, canít either shoot in RAW or donít want to shoot in RAW. The reason behind these can be one of the following. Canít shoot because the digital camera does not offer the RAW service, doesnít know how it works or simply doesnít want to do it. However, if your camera will allow it, learn how to do it. It will control the conversion of your colored photos into black and white pictures for your post-production phase.

Second, always shoot in color. This will help if your camera canít offer shooting in RAW, as well as for those who choose not to. Most digital cameras these days offer options of black and white photos with reasonable results. Having the color date will allow you to have more control with your black and white conversion. This is the advantage of shooting in color. You can shoot in color and get as many high contrasting colored-subjects as possible then do your black and white conversion later on your computer.

The third helpful tip is to have the lowest ISO possible when in shoot. This technique is not only important during color photography but particularly important as well when it comes to black and white photography. The Ďnoiseí or the Ďgrainí created by ISO can always be added later for the post production of your black and white photos.

Fourth on our list is knowing when to shoot. A digital black and white photographer generally prefers shooting photos in low contrast situations. If youíre shooting for colored pictures which are likely impossible because of the poor light due to gloomy weathers, prefer to shoot some black and white shots instead.

The Fifth and last helpful tip for black and white photographers out there is for composition. Train your eyes to look at the shapes and distinguish the textures and tones of your frame and used it as a point of interest. Highlights and shadows should be given most of the attention because it will serve as a feature on you black and white shot.