Spot the perfect black and white scene

Discover how to get the most striking mono compositions

More often than not, a simple scene will provide a better picture than a busy one, and by positioning large subjects in the background you can draw the viewer’s eye into your shot. Our short guide to spotting the perfect scene for a black and white shot will have you looking at things you may not have normally considered.

How to spot your scene…

Create depth

By positioning the building in the far distance, the image’s main point of interest is in the background. The eye is drawn through the image to the building, the derelict wall in the foreground giving the shot a sense of depth.

Look for balance

In this image, there are three main points of interest: the derelict cottage in the background that provides shape and form on the horizon; the glimmers of white shining through from the hill; and the lone sheep. Three is the magic number!

Keep it simple

Sometimes it can be too easy to miss the perfect shot because of a scenes simplicity. But keeping it simple is often the best policy. Here, the building dominates the frame but theres plenty of foreground and background interest.

Use natural props

Finding rustic objects can really boost the impact of a mono image. They may not look that interesting when you come across them, but try to imagine how theyll appear in black and white. Tones and textures can really make a shot.