Black and white photography lends itself to two types of subjects:
Portraits not only capture a person’s face, but their personality. With the right lighting, you can sculpt someone’s face or draw the eye to certain features, such as their soulful eyes or smile lines. As the legendary Canadian photographer Ted Grant once said, “If you want to shoot fashion, shoot in colour, but if you want to shoot emotion, shoot in black and white.” Black and white photography portraits can help you to convey emotion and tell a story - without the distraction of colour.
The best black and white photos are marked by contrast, shapes, shadows and texture – and the most majestic landscapes are full of these. Shooting them in monochrome can capture the raw beauty of the scene in a powerful way.
On the flipside, there are some subjects that rely on colour and don’t work well in black and white. These include clear, bland skies and scenes that are made up of more subtle hues, such as sunrises and sunsets.