Ditch Your Camera’s Black And White Option For Better Monochrome Shots

Ditch Your Camera’s Black And White Option For Better Monochrome Shots
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It may seem counter-intuitive, but the best monochrome photos aren’t necessarily taken in black and white to begin with. If you want great black and white shots later, stick to colour while you’re shooting. Anil Polat of foXnoMad explains why.

Photo by Thomas Dwyer

Anil takes a lot of photos on his journeys around the world, and while almost every camera has a black and white setting, he’s noticed something almost universal about them. Taking your photos in black and white completely removes your freedom to adjust, tweak, and highlight certain areas of the image later. He suggests taking the photos in colour, and then using the freedom of an image editor later to make your monochrome shots gallery-worthy:

Many digital cameras have a black and white function that allows you to take the image directly in black and white. While this may seem convenient, I would suggest avoiding the temptation as it leaves you few options for creatively manipulating the image later. You are much better off using an image editing program and converting it from colour as you have much greater control over the final image.

The full post (linked below) goes into more detail about what makes a great monochrome photo and why you might want to change some of your colour photos into black and white, so check it out for more photography tips.

Avoid Your Camera’s Black And White Setting To Take Amazing Monochrome Photos [foXnoMad]


  • I was curious about the Leica M9 Monochrom and I changed the setting in my Fujifilm X100 to B&W and I note there is a feeling of commitment when you take a B&W photo and you pay greater attention to content which you may not if you merely change a colour one later.
    However the X100 probably does inside the camera what you do in the studio but tne Leica has a monochrome sensor and there are some advantages in using a dedicated camera.

  • I shoot monochrome RAW which helps me control over exposed background, highlights and shadow details. When I download the photo it automatically gets converted to colour. There is more leeway in the recovery range of light and colour in post.

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