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What Makes A Great B&W Image?

Photo By Adam Hanlon

It’s easy to be seduced by the surreal look of a black and white photograph. Image processing software makes it, literally, one-click simple to convert a photo from color to b&w. While that makes it easy to experiment, the best black and white photos are almost always previsualized as monochrome images. To create a great black and white photo, try to see in black and white. This frequently means separating the literal subject in the frame from the shapes and forms. When you see in black and white, you’re seeing the light in a different way and relying on contrast, tonality and texture in a way that’s fundamentally different than with color. has just published an article asking the fundamental question, What Makes A Great Black & White Image. Wetpixel editor Adam Hanlon reached out to a number of professional photographers, several of whom have been published in Outdoor Photographer as well. See what pros like Tony Wu, Jason Bradley, Alex Mustard, Douglas Seifert, Stephen Frink and others say about the making of great black & white imagery. Click here to go to the article.