Classic ideas to try

Now you’ve mastered the basic shooting and editing skills, it’s time to get out with your camera and produce some classic black-and-white images

ou can learn a lot about the skills needed for getting great black-and-white images in Photoshop, but you can’t beat getting out and shooting images with a specific style or treatment in mind.

For this reason, we’ve chosen three styles that will test both your shooting and conversion skills to

help you take your black-and-white photography to the next level.




You’ll need to shoot against a light-coloured background if you want to create a successful high-key portrait. Either find a white wall or backdrop, or alternatively, you could try shooting against a clear sky.


When you convert your image, make sure you use settings that will keep it looking bright and fresh. If you shot against the sky, try lightening the blues when you convert the image to make the background bright.


Most still lifes rely on detail and texture for maximum impact. Once you’ve found a suitable subject, think about how the light will affect the image.


Convert your still-life shot so it has the maximum range of tones. Use the colour sliders to make sure there aren’t any blown highlights.

Once you have chosen a style or subject to shoot, don’t think you don’t need to pay attention to the exposure and colour, just because you are going to adjust the image later on. While it’s possible to lighten or darken areas, you need to start with as much tonal the sky, or in a portrait make sure that there’s detail in the bright areas of the skin. A little time spent checking these details when shooting will save you time and effort when you convert your photo and make adjustments.



Make sure that there’s lots of detail in the sky and the landscape, so you have plenty
of options for adjusting the tones and brightness when you convert the image. The best way to do this is to use an ND grad filter to darken the whole sky.


You will need to use your dodging and burning skills to make the most of a moody landscape. You should burn in the sky to make it darker and more foreboding, and then selectively dodge the landscape
to bring out the highlights.

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