Black & white portraits.

Learn horn to go about taking stunning pictures of people in monochrome with these simple tips and tricks.

Set the scene.

For a low-key shot you’ll need to position your model in a dark room with a dark background. Black and white portraits don’t have to be dark like this, but you need plenty of contrast between tones.

Find a light source.

You only need one light source. We’ve used off-camera flash, but a lamp or window light works just as well. Position your model so the light illuminates their face and try a 45-degree angle.

Select the ISO.

A low ISO is preferable to stop noise in your shot. You may need to raise it if light is weak, and a small amount of noise can be okay in black and white, but keep an eye on the amount.

Pick the right focal length.

If you use a wide focal length you will find their features begin to distort. Stand further back and zoom in so you are using a length of around 80-120mm for more flattering results.

Compose the shot.

Without colour to draw the eye around the shot, you should think about shapes, tones and textures. We have framed her face with her hands, but experiment until you get the pose you want.

Convert your photo.

In Elements, go to Enhance>Convert to Black & White, where you will find a preset portrait option. You can adjust the colour sliders until you get the desired result.

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