Since flowers are so beautiful and colorful when they’re in full bloom, it may seem odd to take transform their images into black and white. However, photographs of black and white flowers can be very amazing to look at!
To help you capture some great flower shots, we’ve outlined a few black and white flower photography ideas that are sure to take your photographs to the next level!
Photo by Mary Crosbie
While some photographers may argue that it is better to capture a flower photograph in full color and then use post-processing software, such as Photoshop Lightroom or Elements, to convert it to black and white, this article instead focuses on tips for using the black and white setting on the camera.
The reason behind this is that not everyone reading this article has post-processing software or the skills necessary to transform the photo into black and white after the shooting it.
Photo by Elliot Gilfix
Select Flowers with Striking Colors
Even though your end goal is to create a black and white photo, it’s actually a good idea to select flowers that that look striking in tone and color. As you start to take these types of photographs, you’ll quickly find out why this is important.
For example, white roses and red ones can look quite energetic and dynamic in color and can be transformed into dramatic and subtle images.
White flowers don’t actually change too much when shooting them in black and white, however the contrast will be at a higher level as they’re changed to grey scale. The pure contrast of white flowers can be brought in black and white photography and it can easily be found by changing color images to grey scale.
Photo by Vinoth Chandar
Lighting for Black and White Flower Photos
When looking for a good source of light it is recommended that you use filtered and subdued light.
If there’s too much light or sun on the flowers they often lose a lot of their detail in a black and white photo.
The same thing is true if you don’t have enough light. Delicate and moody lighting brings out the best in the flowers, but make sure the image isn’t underexposed.
Soft and filtered lighting is effective when taking shots of flowers that have naturally stark and intense colors, such as red and purple.
You’ll quickly find that some colors will stand out better when changed to black and white. The best way to see which ones you prefer is to simply experiment and take shots of different colored flowers.
Photo by Taylor Hand
Find the Best Point of Interest
When taking photos of flowers you need to ask yourself some questions and figure out things such as what the point of interest or focal point is as well as which angle offers the best perspective, what depth of field you’d like, and if you should shoot the flowers vertically or horizontally etc.
It’s a good idea to make sure there aren’t any foreground and/or background distractions in the scene, especially if you’re taking the shots outside in your garden. You’ll need to decide if you want other elements in the shot or not.
In some instances, they could actually enhance the image. If you’d like to remove a distraction you may have to find a new angle to shoot from. You could also try zooming in or moving closer to the flower.
Photo by Luke Grey
Decrease Depth of Field
If you want to decrease the image’s depth of field you should widen the camera’s aperture setting, which means set the f-stop to a lower number.
When the depth of field is decreased you’ll notice that the background and foreground will be blurred and the subject will stand out more as it’s crisp and in focus.
It’s important that the focus on the point of interest is sharp when taking macro shots of flowers.
If you have a point-and-shoot camera you can try its macro mode and if you have a DSLR camera you may want to try a macro lens for the flower shoot.
Whatever you decide to use and no matter which colored flowers you experiment with, just have fun and don’t be afraid of bending the suggestions to see what you can come up with.
We hope you enjoyed these black and white flower photography tips. Now that you’re finished reading, leave a comment below telling us which tips was your favorite and share any experiences you’ve had taking flower photos.
Then, check out our related posts to learn even more ways to improve your photography.