Black and white photography may not be as simple as one may think. When trying to click a black and white photograph, the photographer has to consider the various colors in the composition and how they will turn out in the various tones of grey.

When using black and white film the photographer needs to consider what color filters to use, to be able to bring out the best features of his composition.


It is essential to choose the right filters to be able to bring out the artistic message and not end up with a washed out or dark picture that holds no one’s interest.

Filters are used to block out specific colors and to let only the colors we need to come through the lens. Filters are named after the colors that they allow to pass rather than the ones they block.

The appropriate filter can help determine the texture, contrast and tonal character. The general rule says that the color of the filter chosen should be directly opposite, in the color wheel, to the color of the subject.

This will help bring out the perfect contrast and will enhance the subject’s image.

With the progress of digital photography, it is quite normal to click a photograph in color and then convert it into a black and white picture. The filter rules apply here to, only the software makes it easier (or trickier) to get the picture of your choice with the help of a few adjustments.

The post processing software has different features. Some allow you total control over the color adjustments and some will let you make only a few adjustments and decide about the rest for themselves. The choice of the software would depend a lot on the results you will get.

The basic idea is to be able to get the perfect grayscale. This is achieved by adjusting the three primary colors with the help of a channel mixer.

You will also need to adjust hues and de-saturate colors to come up with the perfect black and white picture that does justice to your message.


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