Shooting Challenge: Black & White

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Black & White

The world's first photograph was murky wash of grays. So as you take black and white photos for this week's Shooting Challenge, don't consider yourself an artsy poseur. Call yourself a historian.

The Challenge

Take a photo in black and white.

The Technique

Color photography is about vibrance. But when you remove all that, you can focus on all of the other important things: Light, shadow, lines, and texture. Black and white photography is like 2-D sculpture, which is why it's still a celebrated format today.


Here's a simple tutorial to get you thinking in black and white. Once you're done with that, read through this one, which offers some metal hacks to tweak your own photographic perspective.

The Example

Our lead image is by Nils, and it was the winner of our black & white Shooting Challenge from 2 years ago! I love that the ground is exposed in perfect black, allowing the viewer to celebrate the grays of the storm above.

The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a natively sized image in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, March 3rd at 9AM Eastern to with "BlackWhite" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameBlackWhite.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameBlackWhiteWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions.

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Luka Komidar

What about retouching? Are there any limitations?