What Makes Black and White Photography Timeless? Vintage photography began in the 15th Century with Robert Boyle’s discovery of silver chloride turning dark when exposed to air in a dark room. It’s this fact that makes B&W photography so classic even centuries later. Black and white photography returns the art form to its true and pure state, without the transformation that modern-day editing provides.

Understanding the concepts and principles of vintage photography further enhances the knowledge of the photographer. Ideas such as shadow detail, image contrast, film and exposure latitude, and tonal range are enhanced through the use of black and white vintage photography. This is a large reason why Visual Flow created the B&W Mixer!

We wanted to showcase some of our favorite examples of black and white photography from members of our Visual Flow and SLR Lounge Premium communities. 

Not all of the photos in this collection were edited with Visual Flow Presets.

Black and White Photos by Topic

  1. Environmental | Nature
  2. Silhouettes
  3. Portraits

Black and White Photography in Nature

Many famous photographers have mastered black & white photos throughout their careers, from Ansel Adams’s nature photography to Edward Weston’s portraiture. These timeless nature photographs transcend eras, capturing something universal and eternal about the world around us. Using black and white editing to remove the color from the image helps viewers focus on the subject (whether that be nature, or in the case of several environmental portraits below, human subjects in nature).

bw picture
Eric Talerico –  Website
black white wedding photos sean thurston
Sean Thurston –  Website
bw photos dave shay
Dave Shay –  Website | Wedding Maps Profile
black and white photography
Andy Casota – Website
black and white photography
Shirleen Burnett –  Website | Wedding Maps Profile
Environmental portrait
BYC Photography –  Website
black and white photography environmental portrait
Christian Koopman –  Website

Black and White Silhouettes

Silhouettes are a great way to stand out from the crowd and create something that is truly unique. When the viewer sees the image the only thing that stands out is the dark, shadowy silhouette. It’s a graphic and beautiful depiction of a scene and great use of light.

nature silhouette photographysean reefman
Sean Reefman –  Website
black and white wedding photography
Chad Winstead –  Website | Wedding Maps Profile

Black and White Portraits

The black or sepia tone in photos has a classic effect on black and white photography that people can cherish for decades to come. A couple can look back at their images fondly, and B&W images will stand out as a moment in time. It’s why TV and film production typically uses black and white to show flashbacks or a previous era.

Couples Portraits

Terence Wong –  Website
bw film photos nathan zoey chapman
Nathan & Zoey Chapman –  Website
black and white lightroom presets 031
Pye Jirsa –  Website | Wedding Maps Profile

Special Wedding Moments

When processed in Black and White, wedding moments can create a timeless, classic feel to the images.  See the following examples for your inspiration.

black and white photography wedding moments
Scott Josuweit –  Website | Wedding Maps Profile
jeroen savelkouls black white
Photo by Jeroen Savelkouls | Website | Wedding Maps Profile
black and white wedding lee
Lee Hickman – Website | Wedding Maps Profile
special wedding moments in black and white photography
Samir Kumar – Website
special wedding moment
Tom Fuller – Website
black and white photography wedding moments dancing
Jessie and Dallin –  Website | Wedding Maps Profile
wedding moments hugging
James Nix –  Website

Solo & Family Portraits

Here are a few solo and family portraits in Black and White for your inspiration.

portraits black and white
Michael Largé –  Website
black and white photos belinda
Belinda Philleo –  Website
solo portrait biker
Shane Trotter –  Website
black and white
Mauricio Ureña – Wedding Maps Profile | Website

Learn how their B&W Mixer can be used and how to get creative B&W edits in Lightroom. You can also look through previous challenges to gain even more inspiration for your photos and edits.