How to make your black and white photography more intentional

black and white
(Image credit: Lauren Scott)

Black and white photography is a subtle art, despite the fact that in the digital age, the software does a lot of the "processing" for you. But because it's become so easy to change the colors (or lack of) in an image at the press of a button or drag of a slider, I fear that the art of black and white photography is becoming diluted – and that it's being used to mask a lack of talent/effort.

Blown out the highlights in the sky? Hit grayscale! Don't like the tonal range? Boom – apply a black and white preset that someone else has created. Color a bit off? You guessed it, remove it completely. I'm not saying that I've never done this, because I have. Only the other day I went out on a misty morning landscape shoot in the local area, reviewed my images afterwards, and felt that none of them really did anything at all unless I took out the color.

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Lauren Scott
Freelance contributor/former Managing Editor

Lauren is a writer, reviewer, and photographer with ten years of experience in the camera industry. She's the former Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, and previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, Technique editor for PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, and Deputy Editor of our sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine. An experienced journalist and freelance photographer, Lauren also has bylines at Tech Radar,, Canon Europe, PCGamesN, T3, Stuff, and British Airways' in-flight magazine (among others). When she's not testing gear for DCW, she's probably in the kitchen testing yet another new curry recipe or walking in the Cotswolds with her Flat-coated Retriever.