A Collection of Powerful Black and White Images


I have a background in black and white photography – using actual film and processing in a darkroom. The entire first year of my two year college photography program was spent doing black and white photography only, nothing else. I came to love working in the darkroom and seeing the image appear on the paper was magic.

Now in the digital age, making black and white is a choice you can make after you shoot the images – which gives you options we didn’t have in the film days. So I wanted to share some B&W images to get you thinking about the possibilities.

For some some tips on shooting and converting to B&W try these:

**I just love this guy’s images of Cuba, inspires me to do more night shooting when I go back in January. So I had to share a few of his shots.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Darlene Hildebrandt is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through articles on her site Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Morocco and India. To help you at whatever level you're at she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!

  • Ed Stephens

    These were excellent. Thanks

  • JohnLElkins

    Now in the digital age, making black and white is a choice you can make after you shoot the images – which gives you options we didn’t have in the film days. So I wanted to share some B&W images to get you thinking about the possibilities. http://0rz.tw/vB6uT

  • lwurn

    Phenomenal images!

  • Justin Williams

    Each and everyone of these photos are absolutely breath taking and stunning. Wonder what camera and glass was used!

  • Beverly Everson

    Wow! Stunning collection!

  • Ralph Hightower

    Great photographs! For the year 2012, I decided to shoot the year using B&W film exclusively. It was a year of growth for me, using different B&W contrast filter; It was probably March before I started to visualize in B&W. Did I have regrets? Sure, particularly when seeing a stunning sunrise or sunset, but there was always 2013 and beyond.

  • Does it matter? B&W is about light, not gear – no?

  • Thanks glad you enjoyed!

  • Keith Starkey

    Very inspiring. Get’s me thinking, particularly the photo of the gal with the half-covered face. Thanks very much!

  • Keith Starkey

    Oh, don’t be fooled. Our dearly cherished Darlene is probably using some high-end Hassenbla…Haselbla…Hassenpheffer (yeah, that’s it!) camera that even God’s going, “Wow, now that’s a camera!” (See, we know your ways, Darlene. We’re watching you…in black and white, too!)

  • Milind Mathur

    Walking the tracks !!

  • Guest

    i too tried with my dslr n here is the result

  • gilles
  • gilles
  • dantefrizzoli

    Wow. They are all wonderful!

  • Tom

    .. Sunk deep into each one of them … then for some reason I cryed … dont know why .. frozen in time …Thanks

  • Tim Lowe

    These are great but I want to know how you get sheep to pose. I’ve never had any luck with sheep…

  • Bob Bevan Smith

    Drop your prejudices Keith. These are (mostly) stunning photos, regardless of the equipment. I don’t like the Tower bridge with a fake moon; and the San Francisco bridge (which is red) would look just as good if not better in colour. Can you guess what camera I used for this photo?
    [Solitaire – I hope it uploads properly]

  • Bob Bevan Smith

    Well, I took this photo in the winter of 1961 with a camera which had two shutter speeds – 1/125 and 1/30, and two apertures – f7.7 and f12. It was taken on ILFORD FP3 127 roll film. Darlene is right – what matters is the final image. Nevertheless, for interest ONLY to photographers, sometimes it helps to know what EXIF settings were. But I doubt anyone will ever need to know the make and model of the camera.

  • colin brown

    when my wife and I got married we had our photos taken half in B&W half in colour (film days)much to my future in laws disgust. Then when they came from the photographer they all decided the composition of the B&W were much better ” he should of took those ones in colour” couldn’t get them to understand it was the contrast that made them look so good. I still prefer the dramatic effect of B&W

  • Matooz

    So much HDR.

  • Subhajit Dutta

    Woo lala … wow i am stunned a beautiful set of pictures

  • Cal

    Great examples of some strong B/W images… I, for one: especially enjoy the minimalist images, if you look at those, they seem to convey the emotional tie and draw you into the photo. Too much content, tends to let your eye’s do to much traveling, which can become confusing.. which may lead to leaving the viewing quicker than the photographer would like… remember, people glance at an image to decide if they want to view it more. Perhaps color images would do better with more content to view…. of course this is my own opinion, what’s yours.

  • Ankit

    Some Of My Attempts!! 🙂

  • elhacedordeluces


  • Mick Rossman
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