Tips For Shooting Black & White

Michael Laubscher All Authors, Michael Leave a Comment

When out in the field, I know from MANY previous experiences, one can get very overwhelmed and extremely excited when you suddenly bump into a leopard or maybe that animals that you have been sitting with does something special.

This can very easily result in us, as photographers, to not focus and just snap away. This is NOT GOOD!

I know its difficult but we have to keep focus. The best way to photograph is to try and do as much as possible out in the field rather than relying on post processing.

In this blog I’ll be discussing what to do when photographing knowing that the end result is going to be black & white and how to process it.

Here is a RAW image that I took early in my guiding & photographic life.

Clearly excitement got the better of me back then because I did not expose correctly out in the field knowing that I wanted to make this a black and white image.

What I should of done out in the field is over exposed the image a bit by increasing my exposure composition. In this image my exposure compensation was on neutral and due to the bright sky behind my subject, the camera decided to make those bright areas darker and so it did but it darkens the whole image and not only the bright areas.

Thankfully Lightroom could help me but you should not go out into the field relying on post processing to help you later.

These are the settings I applied; in the basic panel, to this particular image after converting it to back and white by just pushing V, and this is what it looks like in colour.

So, a bit over exposed and over saturated for a colour image right? Who cares what it looks like in colour because the end result is going to be black & white.

A vital thing when processing a black & white image is to make sure that there are good whites and good blacks that pop in the image.

Another good thing to do while processing a black and white image is to go into your colour adjustment panel and before working, push the letter Y so that you can see your before and after image like in the image below.

By working this way you can actually see what colours you are working with and make adjustments from there. To get rid of the before and after view just simply push Y again.

Once you have completed your particular workflow that you are comfortable with, doing the final touches, you will then end up with a good-looking back and white image.

I hope this blog will help you the next time you decide on creating a black and white image.

Until next time;

Happy snapping!!



About the Author

Michael Laubscher


Haunted by the allure of spectacular wildlife and African sunsets. I am a hunter-gatherer of natural light and candid moments, an appetite whet with a taste of the unknown and the smell of home; “This Is Africa”! I look forward to sharing life long experiences with you and helping you capture them. Please feel free to go check out my Instagram account

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