Black and white photography is a beautiful way to capture a moment and make it eternal. This post covers some of the benefits of black and white images and includes some examples of the best we’ve seen on the web.

Black and white pictures

Black and white photos are great for hiding all kinds of problems with colours (everything from saturation and washed-out issues to imperfections in tone on the subject itself), and they’re the easiest way to make a photo look classic. If you’re trying to create vintage photos or retro images, try using traditional black and white instead of sepia for a more future-proof look.

Taking photos on a cloudy or rainy or day? Giving your photo a black and white filter means you don’t have to worry about capturing that perfect but elusive blue sky or making your subject look idyllic.

Black & white photography

There are literally millions of fantastic examples of black and white photos, so it was almost impossible to narrow it down to a small selection of favourites for this post. View the cream of the crop below; you can click the images to view them in full size on their respective websites.

Black and white images

Black & white photography is incredibly flexible. It’s extremely rare that you end up with a photo that doesn’t suit the simple black and white palette so it’s hard to go wrong with this particular look. As long as your photos are decent, the only potential pitfall is overuse; black and white pics are great for showing another string of your bow, but don’t rely on them too heavily in your portfolios or presentation work as many clients need to be assured of your flexibility and comfort with many different styles and finishes.

Black and white photographs

Black and white images are also great for that formal look. Portraits in particular tend to end up being lighter shades of grey instead of darker blacks and lighter whites, but they can still look impressive. Use Photoshop to alter the shadows and enhance your black and image photographs to get the most out of them. As a general rule, higher contrasts make for more stunning black and white images.

Which is your favourite image or resource website for black and white photography? Let us know in the comments.

17 Responses to Stunning black and white photography

  1. Using black and white also forces you to concentrate on shape, composition, light and shadow, rather than on color.

  2. Wow, some of these pictures are fantastic. The underwater one in particular really caught my eye. Beautiful!

  3. CPA Redmond says:

    I also like black&white photography so much…Its a nice collection of different photographs..Keep it up..

  4. The photo of the petronas towers it incredible. Do you think they achieved that contrast naturally with the lighting or would it have been done after the fact in an editing program?

  5. I agree with Steve – you’ve used some beautiful black and white images to illustrate your points.
    While personally I’m a big fan of processed color we’re seeing a huge resurgence in demand for black and white wedding shots (for a while it was sepia, but now the crisper higher contrast the better).
    The small downside to using black and white is if the photo isn’t quite perfectly sharp it’ll really show without the masking effects color can have on the eye…

  6. From decades black and white photography is a most inspired photography for any photographer. It resembles the inner feeling of the image. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos.


  7. I am fond of black and white photography. I am into vintage photos and the like and your shots really amaze me.. what kind of camera do you use?

  8. Those photographs are look awesome. In my view black and white photography creates for exposure and a cinematic styles than color photos.

    The above photos also makes me to view the photo again and i simply can’t take my eyes of it.

    Thank you

  9. Good advice and a great selection of images to illustrate your point. Black and white photography is effortlessly glamorous

  10. Recently there has been a trend of creating cinemagraphs, which are basically still pictures with just some parts moving. These black and white photographs would look great with some sort of a cinemagraph effect to them.

  11. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy task but this is a really classy collection of images. The Toni Frissell image is the standout photograph for me though.

  12. Amazing use of different framing methods such as the rule of thirds and the Fibonacci sequence. I wish more modern day photographers would shoot black and white, there is something about it that is so powerful as seen in these images.

  13. Superb view of the stairway from top to bottom. Really amazing photographs of a black and white life.

  14. Loving the Apple store in NY. I have a similar picture in full colour but a black and white version just adds more depth and darkness to the glass and the apple sign.

    Great pic.

  15. Lee Smith says:

    I’m honestly not a massive fan of black and white photography. Although some of these images are simply amazing. I think the ones that have an HDR black and white effect are the better ones, with the long exposures coming second.

  16. The photo of the spiral staircase is absolutely stunning! I hope the photographer had insurance though. Wouldn’t want to hang my camera over the edge like that = 0

  17. The first shot of the girl is absolutely stunning. Her hat gives a great contrast to her skin in the rich black and white tones. Nice collection!

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