Black And White Nature Photography

July 13, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Just thought I'd post about one of my favourite subjects; Black & White Nature Photography.

high-key fine art nature photo of a red deer stagRed Deer - Head On - Centred - On WhitePortrait of a red deer stag, in high-key lighting style.
Placed centrally, staring down the camera lens.

British Wildlife Fine Art Photography, Woburn, Bedfordshire, UK.

On the surface of it, shooting for black and white seems a little pretentious these days. We have the best equipment available for colour that we've ever had, and the popular trend in natural history style is for vibrant, popping colours. Yet some photographers still 'revert' to black & white. Is it just a longing for a simpler time, or is there more to it that that?

I think I enjoy it so much because by taking colour away from the subject, it leaves more room for interpretation by the viewer. It creates space, and simplifies a photo.

By using original black & white compositions, I'm better able to create something different from what others are doing, and to further develop my own style.

black and white portrait of a mute swanMute Swan - High Key B&WMute swan portrait.I was looking to create a studio-lit feeling here, using the white swan, on the white background.This was taken from a very low angle, in order to produce a rarely seen view of this common subject.

British Wildlife Fine Art Photography.

Although I tend to focus on British wildlife, I also get the opportunity to experiment with more exotic fauna from abroad. Zebras & Giraffes are a favourite subject of mine, because they're so well suited to black & white and abstract photography. I love to use eye-contact to draw the viewer in, combined with the natural patterning, producing an image which isn't immediately obvious.

black and white fine art portrait of a zebraZebra - Striking StripesZebra portrait.

Has to be one of my favourite shots, and certainly one of the most popular.

Black and White Nature Photography, captive, UK.
a low-key photo of a giraffe head, making eye-contact with the viewerGiraffe Eye-ContactGiraffe portrait.
Lowlight, in black & white.

Black & White Nature Photography. Taken in captivity.


I love black and white photography for the power it wields in creative processing. The shot below was taken in a strong low sunlight. It looked nice in colour. But by converting to black and white, and darkening the background, I was able to create something much more striking. 

low-key photo of a red deer on a black backgroundRed Deer - On BlackThis is an original photo of a red deer stag in low-light, edited on to black in post-production.

Fine Art Nature Photography. Woburn, Bedfordshire, UK.

Finally, I think black and white nature will always be a popular style for me because these prints look great in any environment. You don't need to know if the colours will match the room - With black and white they always do :-)

You can see more of my black and white nature photography here.


Fine Art Nature PhotographyMore Photos | Prints | Licencing About Me


Post by George Wheelhouse, 2012.




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