Inspirational black and white photographers

With black and white photography you have no colour to hide behind. Your composition becomes critical. If you don't have a strong backbone to your image, it will be lacklustre.

Shooting for black and white is an essential exercise for intermediate and advanced photographers. By critically examining your images you can see where your composition falls short, and take steps to improve next time. 

Finding inspiration

2018 sees the launch of the A Year With My Camera graduates' online camera club. It is for people who have done at least the first 5 lessons of AYWMC (up to and including editing), who know their way around a camera, and who are ready for more challenging projects. We have a single extended project each month, and the inaugural project has been to investigate photographers who shoot in black and white, choose someone to research more deeply, and then create a black and white image inspired by that person.

Suggested photographers

The first group of graduates have come up with so many amazing photographers that I wanted to include them all in a master list for easy reference. Take some time, lose yourself in some of these websites, and maybe go away with new ideas for your own photography.

These are in no particular order, take pot luck:

Berenice Abbott 1898-1991

Jane Hope Brown 1925-2014

Ansel Adams 1902-1984

Vivian Maier 1926-2009

Jeffrey Conley

Marlene Neumann

David Fokos

Rob Outlaw

Helene Binet

Andre Kertesz 1894-1985

Henri Cartier-Bresson 1908-2004

Paul Gallagher

Michael Kenna

Bhaskar Kundu

Anne Larsen

Dorothea Lange 1895-1965

Julia Margaret Cameron 1815-1879

Jerry Uelsmann

Martin Henson

Frank Meadow Sutcliffe 1853-1941

Edward Weston 1886-1958

Karl Blossfeldt 1865-1932

Mario Moreno

Pedro Luis Raota

David Goldblatt

John Sexton

Giacomo Brunelli

Sebastiao Salgado

Amanda Norman

Robert Mapplethorpe (flowers)

Annette Schreiber

Zofia Rydet

Alex Greenshpun

Shirren Lim

Don McCullin

Hermann Reichling 1890-1948

Marti Friedlander 1928-2016

Nikki Sixx

Jack Lowe

Margaret Bourke-White 1904-1971

Matilda Temperley

Fan Ho

Imogen Cunningham


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IntermediateEmma Davies