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Experimenting with photography in the digital age can be truly exhilarating. With the help of some highly advanced technology, anyone can make beautiful, vibrant color images with the push of a button. For some shutterbugs, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Those with a deeper curiosity enjoy delving into the world of black and white photography. In black and white, photographers have the freedom to play with many elements: light, shadow, texture, form, facial expression, pose, composition and color (or rather lack thereof!)

This lesson examines various approaches to black and white photography, and demonstrates some basic digital editing techniques you can apply to render custom black and white prints.

(Most images can be clicked for an enlarged view.)

Topics Covered:

  • Why Black and White?
  • Learning to See in Shades of Gray
  • Light and Shadow
  • Texture
  • Form and Shape
  • Exploring Broader Themes in Black and White
  • The Black and White Landscape
  • The Black and White Studio Portrait
  • Black and White in the Digital Age
  • Converting a Digital Color Image to Black and White
  • Understanding Color Filtration for Black and White
  • Creating a Split Toning Effect Using CS3

Equipment Used:


  • Olympus E-500
  • Nikon 35mm film camera
  • Kodak Tmax 100 black and white film


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