Creating Impactful Black and White Imagery for Instagram

Photographers who love black and white photography should check this out!

Are you drawn to dramatic and impactful black and white imagery on Instagram but find yourself wondering how to take the dull, somewhat faded looking black and white files you have and turn them into the dramatic and impactful shots you are drawn to? This post is for you.

First thing, processing black and white images are more complicated than one may think. It may not be quite as complicated as a color process, but it has its own unique complexity that really cannot be ignored. Sean Tucker is a popular Instagram user known for his black and white images as well as an avid Youtuber. In the video we are sharing below, Tucker takes you through his black and white editing process, how he looks at it and how he approaches it using the iOS app Darkroom.

Don’t disregard the video if you prefer not to edit your images on your mobile though, the concepts and ideas that Tucker talks about in this video are absolutely applicable in Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One, Luminar, Exposure X3, OnOne, and most other image processing software on computers these days.

But that said, this is just more proof that if the image is just going up on mobile, detailed and fine tuned processing on a computer is not necessarily required. Image processing on mobile has gotten to a point where you can do all the processing you need in an app for social sharing. The processes Tucker talks about in this video, such as using the color channel information to affect the look and feel of the highlights and shadows in your image, are tricks that originated back in the film days, but they are – as you can see – still totally relevant today and are ironically often overlooked by those who are not familiar with black and white processing.

If you are looking to take your black and white looks to another level, we greatly suggest giving one or some of these techniques a try. The impact on your images will be profound. Also, make sure and check out Sean Tucker over on his Youtube Channel for more great videos like this.

PS: If you’re looking for more premium black and white photography content, please check out our premium publication, La Noir Image.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.