Two Shooting Hacks for Epic B&W Landscape Photos (VIDEO)

Have you ever tried your hand at b&w landscape photography, expecting dramatic images, only to be disappointed by the results? If so, you’re not alone.

Whether you made the original shots in b&w or converted color photos to monochrome during the editing process there may be a simple reason your images didn’t make the grade (that has nothing to do with your editing prowess): Composition.

According to David Johnston, who posts weekly videos on photography gear and techniques, b&w photos often must be composed differently than when making color imagery. In this quick episode Johnston says, “I’ll be unlocking two black-and-white landscape photography composition tips so you can start creating better photos.”

Johnston insists that the two “crucial hacks” he provides are all it takes to unlock what’s missing from your monochrome imagery. While the video concentrates on framing shots properly, be sure to watch until the end where Johnston offers some simple advice for editing b&w photos for optimum results.

The two tips you’ll learn are based upon Johnston’s early struggles with b&w when he first made the switch from color. The first has to do with the importance of contrast when shooting or converting to b&w.

As he says, “contrast is the separation of tones between highlights and shadows” which is particularly important with landscape photography. He uses a gray scale to illustrate what this means when shooting with digital cameras as pertains to luminance values and the separation between highlights and shadows.

Johnston’s second tip delves into the specifics of composing a scene in a way that best utilizes highlights for b&w landscape imagery. Here he explains that, “in the psychology of composition your eye is naturally drawn to the brightest part of a photo.”

The lesson is very interesting and easy to understand, thanks in part to Johnston’s beautiful imagery. As we mentioned above, the final two minutes are devoted to a few simple editing tips  that you’ll find helpful as well.

Johnston’s YouTube channel has a lot to offer, so be sure to pay a visit. And check out the tutorial we posted earlier, with “seven red flags that your landscape photos are really bad.”