It's Week #2: Black and White

To be shot and submitted between Sunday, Jan 3 and Sunday, Jan 10 (noon, Eastern)

Black and White is not simply about removing color from your image. The process happens well before you hit the shutter. Look at the shapes around you, and notice how they are formed by the light. See wrinkles underneath ones eyes. Ponder the detail of the bark of a tree. Notice streetlamps being illuminated by passing cars.

The best scenes to capture in black and white, are the ones where a story is created with the interplay of the light and the shadows. Go crazy in high contrast situations (a lot of light and a lot of dark), like shooting into the sun, or even shooting at high noon. You have a lot more latitude to work with in black and white, and you could be more experimental with it.

Also, worthy of note, is that you can amp up the contrast/clarity much more for a black & white image in post, unlike a color photo that has more data to “save”; the color will start to compress and break down if you manipulate too much.


  • A wonderful overview of things to consider when shooting black and white, including light, form, subject and texture
  • Some quick tips for beginners shooting black and white.
  • And some great tips for more advanced photographers (Especially #5!). And some more great tips for the more advanced.

Looking for more inspiration? There’s lots of eye candy on the web. Check out our previous albums, from 2015, 2014, and 2013, and of course, The Googles!

Extra Credit: Daytime Long Shutter

For some extra credit joojoo, try your hand at a daytime long exposure! For this Extra Credit challenge, the shutter speed should ideally be no less than 2″! This really cannot be done without some important external gear, namely an “ND Filter“. An ND Filter will cut down on the light entering into your lens, by as many as 10 stops, so you can capture a daytime setting, while keeping the shutter open longer.

Perfect for stormy weather, ocean waters, and general abstract goodness. Check out the Googles for some inspiration on just how beautiful this effect is in Black and White

Remember, it is not necessary to work in this Extra Credit piece. It’s extra credit!

Past Challenges - 2016

Past Challenges - 2015