TutorialsRural PhotographyBlack and white fine art photography

Black and white fine art photography

Black and white fine art photography is a very delicate and debatable subject. Everyone looks at it from their point of view. There are different tastes in B&W photography, as well as various techniques. ( To watch more black and white pictures visit Amazing Black and White Photos article. )

Nowadays, most people take color photos with ordinary cameras. Then they edit the images to Fine art b&w photography with Photoshop or other software.

They usually start their optimization work with the Crop tool. The goal is to achieve a good composition.

Components irrelevant to the picture are omitted, or sometimes an object that needs to be removed is incompletely recorded.

Black and white fine art photography post processing


In the next step, you can select Levels in the Layer panel by clicking on the Create new fill or adjustment layer from the pop-up menu.

Adjustments layers in photoshop
Levels in pop up menu in photoshop

Levels are used to adjust the amount of light. Often when shooting, the amount of light in all images or some parts is inappropriate.

Adding a layer of the same name in the Layers panel will open a new box where Levels settings can be set.

The desired result can be achieved by scrolling the markers on the bars and observing the changes in the image. Of course, the histogram must be considered and a decision made based on it. (Visit the Types of Fine Art Photography article to read more about fine art photography. )

histogram of levels

The scrolls must be drawn from both sides to the point where the histogram white begins. And if there are no empty points in the bar and the histogram completes it, there is probably no need to use Levels.

These changes may cause the image to become too dark or too bright. Which can be corrected with a marker in the middle of the bar.


From the same pop-up menu, there is a Curves option under the Levels option. Using it, you can apply lighting changes on different photo parts, including shadows, light, and highlight areas.

But these changes are achieved directly by working on the histogram axis.

using of curves in photoshop


In the pop-up menu at the top of the Levels option, select the Brightness / Contrast option. The special box will also open. There are two bars, one for Brightness and the other for Contrast.

By moving the cursor on the bar, you will reach the desired state.

You can see the previous view or return to the current state by clicking the eye mark next to the layer.

You can either apply all the above steps to the whole image or by using the selection methods only on a specific part.

Convert to B&W

To do this, go to Image in the menu and from there to Adjustments. Then choose Black & White from the menu that opens.

A box with the same name opens. You can apply the changes you want in any range. Or you can leave the job to Photoshop and click the Auto button.

black and white box in photoshop

Characteristics of a b&w fine art photo

A  b&w image expresses its purpose using shapes and lines due to a lack of color. So it is better to be careful that the image chosen for this style is appropriate from this point of view.

The picture at the top of the page has many lines, and the audience understands it.

The next item is shadows, which are widely used in this style.

And finally, the question is, when can a B&W image be considered fine art?

The answer is that it is not teachable !! It depends on people’s perceptions and experiences of life. You can find out what might be unique to the viewer by looking more closely, paying attention, and watching other people’s work.

Or how it is better to put objects or people together. Or what kind of editing a photo will be more unique and noticeable.

Black and white photography portraits

Black and white fine art photography is mighty in conveying the mood and feelings of people. I can boldly say that black and white portraits are more attractive than their color versions.

What could be the reason for this superiority? A few can be enumerated. First of all, the black and white lines of the face are more pronounced than the type of color, which helps the audience to understand the subject’s feelings.

Second, the contrast created between the two black and white spectra is more dramatic than the contrast between the color spectrum.

Personally, I want to add a conceptual reason to these technical reasons.  b&w fine art photography is like an empty room compared to the color type; the empty space is more meaningful from an artistic point of view than a luxurious room and shows the human feeling better.


Some photos have a good composition and are a good subject for b&w photography. Using a little taste and familiarity with graphic software, you can create fine art photography ideas from them.

These photos should be rich in shape and lines so that their b&w version looks beautiful.


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Babak Siminzar
Babak Siminzarhttps://www.bsiminzar.com
I am a general practitioner and work in a health center. In previous years, my place of work was rural areas in the northwest of Iran. In addition to medicine in those areas, I also did photography, which was my hobby. I am very interested in macro photography, so most of my portfolio photos are about it. I also visit and photograph historical sites on my travels.


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