Tips for black and white digital photography

PetaPixel has a nice post by Jeff Meyer: 6 Black and White Photography Tips for Monochrome Enthusiasts.

#1 and #2 are things I’m doing now with my Ricoh GR:

1. Shoot RAW + JPEG

I do this now and use the JPEGs as visual templates for processing the RAWs. Occasionally I’ll use a high contrast JPEG as is because I can’t come close to what the GR is doing internally in Lightroom, like these: Needle ice.

2. Look for Contrast, Shape and Texture

This is seemingly obvious and simple but it’s not and it takes a lot of practice. This is why I have the LCD on my Ricoh GR set to either regular black and white or high contrast black and white, even if I’m just shooting a single RAW file. I want the camera to help me find that visual contrast and shapes and the LCD is quite helpful for that.

In time we can learn to see it on our own but early on it’s useful to set the camera up to help.

The other advice in the post is useful as well. It’s a short read, well worth taking the time for.

Lotus leaves

Lotus leaves

Japanese Garden, Van Nuys, California. I’ve been discombobulated enough lately that I forgot to unload my camera on my last outing in Los Angeles a week ago.

It’s not a good sign when you take some pictures and forget to unload them from your camera. No doubt this happens to all of us but it’s bothersome to catch one’s self forgetting.


I do like this image and I remember taking it (thank god).