Monochrome imagery is gaining in popularity with the resurgence of interest in 35mm photography, and even digital photographers can get in on the action. The quick video below demonstrates how to shoot compelling b&w photos with a digital camera, while becoming a better photographer overall.
Photo instructor Gary McIntyre begins this tutorial with a question: “Why would you switch your camera’s preview screen to b&w?” His answer is that shooting in monochrome actually helps you understand how to think about light, how to better perceive a scene, and how to use all of the tools at your disposable.
While demonstrating several great tips for capturing compelling b&w images, McIntyre explains that color can actually affect your perception of reality. Shooting in monochrome, on the other hand, forces you to study and shape your images around whatever light is available.
In other words, monochrome photography provides an opportunity for capturing scenes that appear less compelling in color. This practice also make’s you a better photographer by eliminating the distraction of color, and it forces you to think about framing, exposure, and composition differently.
By following McIntyre’s tips and tricks, and improving the way you visualize the world around you, even your color photography will improve in the future. He refers to his approach as “going back to basics,” while concentrating solely on the tonal values of a scene without color getting in the way.
You’ll also see several of McIntyre’s beautiful images that will inspire you to try this approach yourself.
There is much more to learn on McIntyre’s YouTube channel, so be sure and take a look. And we encourage you to check out another tutorial we posted recently, explaining how to get perfect exposures under rapidly changing light.