60 Inspiring Examples of Black and White Photography

Black and white photography can give certain scenes a striking, timeless quality when done well. Not every shot will work in B&W, just like certain shots look more beautiful in monochrome than in color. To get the best B&W photos, try planning for that difference and consider the following three tips:

1. Use light and shadow to your advantage.

Light and shadow become more obvious when color is absent. Make sure you plan for that difference and turn it into a strength. For example, try creating a strong contrast between darkness and light. The darker the shadows are, the brighter your light will look.

2. Focus on texture and shape.

Like light and shadow, texture and shape tend to be more important in B&W photos. You no longer have color to lead the viewer’s eye; you need interesting curves, curious shapes, and/or great texture instead.

3. Aim for clarity.

Color photos have a wide palette of color and shading, while black and white photos look best when there’s a clear ‘black’ and ‘white’ to guide the viewer. Otherwise, you end up with a vague, muddy-looking gray image.

Below are some excellent examples of black and white photography selected from our Flickr group. Use these photos as inspiration for your own work, and post your best shots in the group so we can appreciate them!

Shirren Lim – .good morning bagan.
hot air balloons

Laurens Kaldeway – Trio
spoons reflecting music

Nimit Nigam – Night Contrast
Sydney Opera House

Paul Shears – Bubble Reflection

Shirren Lim – .Paduang.
woman with long neck

Shirren Lim – .balloons over bagan.
hot air balloons

Shirren Lim – .stormy day.
wooden dock

Paul Shears – Dark Light

Paul Shears – Mayor’s Maze
circular staircase

Shirren Lim – .the monk at Shwedagon Pagoda.
Buddhist monk

Alex Greenshpun – Birth of a Star
Dahlia bud

Alex Greenshpun – Behold, the Mighty Tiger!
yawning kitten

Amine Fassi – Fantasia Rider – 2
horse and rider

Jennifer MacNeill – cow in the fog
road cow and fog

Alex Greenshpun – Tippy Toes
dandelion with dew

Amine Fassi – Green commuting
boy on donkey

Amine Fassi – Life on the road
Muslim couple on motorcycle

Mahesh Balasubramanian – Peek-a-boo !!!
man behind fence

Ahmad Syukaery – Fishermen Pulling The Net, Boom Beach, Banyuwangi

jordan parks – in the kitchen
baby on kitchen floor

Jordi Corbilla – Sleeping beauty with dream reflection.
woman sleeping on subway

jordan parks – mohawk
boy in bathtub

Sherrin Lim – .portrait of a yak.

Children of the Mist – Momo´s Helix
spiral staircase

Thomas Lieser – walking alone
man walking alone

Sherrin Lim – .the [other] novice monk.
novice monk

Shirren Lim – .novice monk.
novice monk

Amine Fassi – Happy Camel, happy day
camel close up

Federica Giordano – fancy
woman in wide brimmed hat

Alex Greenshpun – Infinity
rose macro black and white

Andy Farmer – Beckett Harp
Samuel Beckett Bridge

Sherrin Lim – .[the] yak herder.
yak herder

Amine Fassi – Fantazia Ryder
rider on horse

Amine Fassi – Black Time
black and white portrait

Konstantinos Kousis – Kozani, Western Macedonia Greece
Kozani , Western Macedonia Greece

Amine Fassi – Morning Dark Reflection
Fort de la Calette Lighthouse

Shirren Lim – .sweeper.
woman sweeping street

Amine Fassi – Street Peek
boy rollerblading

Sherrin Lim – .lost [in thoughts].
black and white elderly portrait

Amine Fassi – Ready to Fight
black and white fisherman

Justin Piercy – Fades Away.
old house

Elena K. – Self
black and white portrait of face

Bahadır Bermek – Panning Turkey – Istanbul
man riding bicycle

Bryon Lippincott – Exposed by the light
old man sitting in corridor

Shirren Lim – .[puff].
cloud above mountain

ivan sgobba – Sanibel Island – Florida
man walking by stork

Sherrin Lim – .puppets on strings.
people riding on swing

Amine Fassi – Chefchaouen – The Kasbah Prison – 1471
black and white entrance to prison

Jaime Nicolau – Mi familia
family portrait black and white

jordan parks – untitled
boys running black and white

Bahadır Bermek – Need Some Rest
black and white stairwell

jordan parks – waiting
dog waiting

jordan parks – untitled
baby in sunlight

Elena K. – Skyscraper – Edited
Skyscraper black and white

John Salisbury – parallel accessed
railroad tracks

Amine Fassi – Rabat Lighthouse – bw
rabat lighthouse

Shirren Lim – .long road [home].
long empty road

Paul Shears – Illuminate
city light

Bahadır Bermek – Rain Man Turkey – Istanbul
man holding umbrella

Sherrin Lim – .the lady.
naked lady in front of eiffel tower