Artistically black and white photos take a lot of beating. There is something about a good black and white image that invokes a level of appreciation that many colour images can never achieve.

In days of film, shooting in black and white meant that you had to commit to an entire roll of film for your black and white photos. Today you have a lot more choices and black and white is only a setting away in your camera.

However, shooting in black and white is a little different to shooting in colour so here is what you need to know:

Camera settings for black and white shooting

The first thing to do is to work out how your digital camera captures in black and white.

Most cameras have a setting that allows you to switch to monochrome or black and white capture.

You’ll need to be familiar with how to switch the camera into this mode, how to identify from its display that you are in this mode and how to return to full colour mode when you’re done.

When you capture in JPEG using a point and shoot camera or a digital SLR, your camera will discard all the colour information before saving the image. You can’t go from monochrome to colour later on.

However, if you shoot with a digital SLR and capture the image using Camera RAW you can generally configure your camera to capture monochrome images but, behind the scenes, the camera will still capture all the RAW data it would capture if you were shooting in colour and this will be available later when you process the RAW image.

Helen Bradley