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AppArt School – How to Shoot Professional Monochrome Images with an iPhone

AppArt School -How to Shoot Professional Monochrome Images with an iPhone

Shooting professional monochrome (black and white) images with an iPhone can be a creative and rewarding process. Here are some tips to help you capture compelling monochrome photographs:
  1. Shoot in black and white mode: The iPhone camera app offers a built-in black-and-white mode. To access it, open the camera app, swipe left to the “Mono” mode, and start shooting. This mode allows you to see your subject in black and white as you compose the shot, helping you visualize the final result.
  2. Focus on contrast and texture: Monochrome images rely heavily on contrast and texture to create visual impact. Look for scenes with strong tonal variations, interesting patterns, and textures that will stand out without colour.
  3. Pay attention to light and shadows: Lighting is crucial in monochrome photography. Experiment with different lighting conditions, such as dramatic shadows or soft diffused light, to add depth and dimension to your images. Shadows can create a striking contrast and highlight the shapes and forms in your composition.
  4. Use the grid and composition techniques: The grid feature in the iPhone camera app can help you compose your shots more effectively. Utilize compositional techniques like the rule of thirds, leading lines, and symmetry to create balanced and visually appealing monochrome compositions.
  5. Shoot in RAW format: If your iPhone model supports it, consider shooting in RAW format. RAW files contain more data and provide greater flexibility in post-processing. You can then convert your RAW images to black and white using various editing apps.
  6. Experiment with editing apps: There are numerous editing apps available for the iPhone that offer powerful tools for black-and-white conversions and adjustments. Some popular options include Snapseed, VSCO, and Adobe Lightroom. These apps allow you to fine-tune contrast, and tonal range, and apply filters to achieve the desired monochrome effect.
  7. Pay attention to details: Since monochrome images lack colour, details become even more important. Focus on capturing small details, textures, and patterns that add interest to your composition. Zooming in or getting closer to your subject can help emphasise these details.
  8. Shoot with intention: Before taking a shot, consider what you want to convey through your monochrome image. Think about the mood, emotions, or storytelling elements you want to capture. Having a clear vision in mind will guide your composition and help you create more impactful photographs.
  9. Learn from black and white masters: Study the work of renowned black and white photographers for inspiration and insights. Analyze their composition, use of light and shadows, and overall aesthetic. This can provide valuable guidance and spark your creativity.
  10. Practice and experiment: As with any form of photography, practice is key. Experiment with different subjects, lighting conditions, and editing techniques. Keep refining your skills, and don’t be afraid to try new approaches to create unique and professional monochrome images.
  11. Remember, the iPhone is a powerful tool, but the quality of your photographs ultimately depends on your vision and creativity. Embrace the limitations and possibilities of shooting black and white with an iPhone, and enjoy the process of capturing stunning monochrome images.

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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]

One Comment

  • Ted Silveira

    One further tip: If you shoot in one of the B/W modes in the native camera, you can then open Photos, duplicate that image, open the duplicate for editing, and choose Revert to turn it back into a color original. Now you have both a B/W and a color version of the same image to work from in case you want to experiment with other editing apps.