Digital Black and White Photography

Black and white photography on a digital camera

Digital black and white photography

An example of digital black and white photography using the same RAW format image.

Digital black and white photography is popular among beginners and experts alike. Though it started out as simply a limitation of older camera equipment, it is still used today for its high contrast look and classic feel.

Monochrome mode for digital black and white photography

Digital cameras often present the capability to record an image in black and white. This is often presented as a unique effect, and just allows you to swap from color to monochrome as desired – even for a single shot. Other monochrome settings, for instance a sepia-toned style are also typically offered.

An advantage of these settings is that they permit you to see what the shot looks like in monochrome. It is not simple to visualise what a scene will appear like in black and white. You might want to see the tones – the contrast between dark and light.

Confusingly, two distinct colors, like blue and green, can seem the same shade of grey inside the result. This preview helps you to see if the shot ‘works’ in black and white or not.

Personal computer conversion

Those skilled with digital black and white photography, on the other hand, would not be caught dead using these settings. Instead, they will shoot the scene in full color RAW format and then convert it to monochrome at a later date working with a digital imaging software program. This not only gives the option to utilize the shot in color or mono but additionally permits precise control of the tonal range within the final shot.

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