3 Tips to Shoot Black and White Photos like the Masters

While color is the preference of the commercial world, black and white photos still have a high place in the art sector. Plus, they're an essential part of any professional photographer's portfolio because there is a degree of skill needed to get the most impact out of the image. Black and white photos are all about contrast. If you can master contrast, then you can shoot black and white just like the masters. 

1. Study Old Movies

If you want to shoot like the masters, then you need to study the masters. One great place to see how the masters worked is to watch old black and white movies, specifically the film noir films of the 1940s and 1950s. The directors and cinematographers of these films made great use out of the composition of the shot, the contrast of light objects against darkness, and the use of shadows.

2. Master the Shadows

Colors tend to pop out at you. Black and white does not have this advantage, so you need to master the lighting of your shot in order to make it pop out to the audience. One great way to do this is to creatively employ shadows to work in your favor.

3. Use Contrast

For black and white, the only contrast that matters is light and dark. Every color between black and white comes out as a shade of grey. The only way to make use of colors for your composition is to understand and master the contrast between light and dark.