Although we have the capability to produce vibrant and colourful canvas prints, black and white canvases can be just as visually stunning when you put them on the wall. Black and white images can look very artistic and sophisticated, and can work well in both contemporary and classic decor.
For amateur photographers who want to capture their own images for printing on canvas, here are a few tips for creating fantastic black and white pictures.
Tips for taking black and white photos
Visualise - we all see the world in glorious technicolour, but you need to try to train your mind’s eye to visualise the image you're shooting in black and white. It's worth changing some colour photos you already have into black and white pictures on your computer before you start shooting, just to give you an idea of what happens during the process and to see how colours and shades are translated.
Concentrate on texture - without colour, you need to think about other ways in which you can get some depth and detail in your photographs. Look at different patterns and textures to help you capture images for printing that will have some richness and diversity.
Lighting - you can get some fantastic effects in your black and white photography if you play around with lighting and contrast. Dark shade against bright lights will pull out significant details and lines, and if you light your subject from the side, you can create some interesting shadows too.
ISO - if you're using a camera with some manual functions, rather than just a ‘point and click’ camera, you should be able to adjust the ISO settings. For black-and-white photography, you'll want to set your camera to the lowest ISO setting to ensure a better quality at the printing stage.
Portraits - using black and white prints for portraits is a great idea for smoothing out skin tone and highlighting the stronger characteristics of a person's face, such as their eyes and lips. Don't just de-saturate the image during processing though, or the result will look to grey and flat. Use a proper black and white conversion tool instead.
Attention to detail - if you're trying to create a timeless canvas prints, don't snap until you're sure that there are no additional objects showing in the picture that will age or date the shot. Look out for things like street lighting and vehicles - or clothes with slogans or logos on if it's a portrait picture.
RAW - if you have a RAW setting on your camera, switch to this when you're specifically taking photos for printing in black and white. This will save you converting to black and white using software, because the image will be captured as you want it in the first place.
Whatever the weather - those long, dark, dull days of winter don't mean an end to your photography fun. In fact, this lower level of natural lighting can help you to capture some incredible, atmospheric shots that will look beautiful when printed onto canvas.
Hopefully these basic black and white photography tips will give you a helping hand for getting the best possible image for printing onto canvas!