We hear from master photographers time and time again that black and white photography has the power to bring greater attention to composition in the absence of color. That presents both a challenge and an opportunity for anyone who wants to shoot creatively in black and white. If that sounds like you, we have a video to help you get started, this time with some tips on how to work with textures for monochrome images.
Previously, we shared some useful tips by Ray Scott on how to use shadows to create impressive black and white photography. Today, we bring your attention to his tips on textures. When done right, you’ll be able to create beautiful fine art images in abstract black and white!
Texture is a very tactile visual element. If color has the power to draw your eyes, texture makes you want to touch what you see. Black and white photography is a great tool for this; it simplifies the image into dark and light areas. Since there is no distraction from colors, your viewers will find themselves paying more attention to the textures in the image.
To prove this, Scott shared a handful of examples showing how punchy contrast can make the textures pop more. Nature, as we see in most of the examples, is a treasure trove of various textures you can capture in black and white. Even old wooden elements from houses and buildings will look great. The texture of skin also becomes more prominent in black and white compared to color photos.
Another clever way to use textures is to challenge how viewers perceive certain objects, as Scott described in his flower example. We typically think of colors whenever we mention flowers, but take away the color, and you bring attention to all the other details of the texture. It makes us realize just how fragile flowers are just by looking at the papery appearance of the petals’ texture.
Want more photography tips like this from Ray Scott? Do check out and subscribe to the Visual Art Photography Tutorials channel on YouTube for more of his photography video tutorials.
Screenshot image from the video