Five Easy Composition Tips for Stunning Black and White Photography

Practice makes perfect, especially for black and white photography. Here are some quick tips to improve your composition today!

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: black and white photography isn’t as simple as using your camera’s monochrome mode. If only it were that easy! Because black and white photography has the inherent ability to make compositions stand out, working on your composition is one of the first few things you need to get started with. In today’s featured video tutorial, PHLEARN Founder Aaron Nace shares five quick composition tips to get better monochrome snaps.

Now, let’s quickly break that down:

  1. Focus on simple shapes. Because black and white photography highlights minimalism, the subjects with simple shapes, curves, and lines tend to stand out when you take away the distraction of colors.
  2. Find angles that avoid distractions. When you’re shooting a place with lots of activity, showing the hustle and bustle is a good way to capture the energy of the place. When you want to photograph, say, architecture or any interesting element without the distracting elements (like people walking into the frame), try switching up your angles or vantage points.
  3. Look for leading lines. This is a fundamental composition technique that works for any kind of photography. But, it’s especially useful and powerful in black and white, again, because it places the emphasis on composition.
  4. Use contrast between light and dark. This usually works best when you work with shadows and brightly lit areas on a sunny day. But if the weather is not cooperating, try to look for light or bright subjects against a dark background, and vice versa.
  5. Capture symmetry. Architecture shots often look great with symmetrical composition. But, it’s just one of the subjects where symmetry can produce interesting results. Practice and experiment!

Do check out the PHLEARN YouTube channel for more photography tips and tricks like this from Aaron Nace and his team.


Cover photo from the video