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Black and white images emphasize content, emotion, texture, and pattern. Not every image works well in black and white, though, so how do you go about creating a strong black and white image?

Here are some ideas:

Be Bold

Bold lines and shapes stand out well in black and white. Look for compositions that highlight lines and shapes either as the subject or background. 

Be Concise

Combine what you learned from our 2nd assignment on minimalism, by isolating the subject and reducing distracting elements from your image.

Look for Patterns

Pattern, repetition, and texture are great ways to create a subject. Review the 4th assignment to find new ways to explore pattern and repetition in black and white images. 

Explore the Darkness

As we talked about in our 5th assignment, shadows can be a strong compositional element, and this is especially true in black and white photography.

Process your images with special care of the tonal range. To learn more, watch our Webinar on processing for black and white. You should also read this blog post by Andy Williams

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Your assignment this week is to create new images that really show us why black and white shines! Color/black and white comparison photos are encouraged, and do let us know why you think a particular image looks great in black and white (or doesn’t—we welcome hearing about problems you encounter, too). Our pros will be standing by to offer constructive critique and helpful tips at our Facebook group Muench University!

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