We Simplify The Technical!

Why, when and how to shoot black and white photography for high impact photographs.  Geff Bourke is a well-known speaker on this subject. 
Black & white photography can add drama or take away distractions. 

*Please scroll to the bottom of the post for more images from our guest.*

Why Choose Black and White Photography 
with Geffrard Bourke


“There’s something so beautiful about a black and white image 
– the detailing, the tonality.”

Anything Looks Good in Black and White

  • Street Photography – even at night!
  • Landscapes
  • Macro and Close-ups
    – Geff loves taking black and white images of flowers – white blossoms seem to glow.
  • Portraiture

    – Color can really be a distraction, it pulls your eyes away from their face.

“When you photograph a person in color, you photograph their clothes.  When you photograph a person in black and white, you photograph their soul.”

Tips for Black and White Success

  • Lighting

    – Color images are best when the light is right – early morning or evening.

    – Black and white images can be taken at any time of day – even in the bright afternoon sun!

    – Harsh light helps to bring out the contrast and tones of the landscape.

  • Spot-meter on the brightest part of your subject.

    – Make the subject stand out and be separate from the background.

  • Shoot in RAW (color) to capture as much data as possible.
  • Set Live-View to Black and White to help you learn to see without color.
  • Bracket your images 

     – Stack them later in Photoshop, or choose the best exposure from the set.

     – Choosing the lightest of the set creates a “high-key black and white”.

  • Leave the white balance in Auto

     – White balance really only affects color images.

     – You can adjust the contrast of the image in post-processing.

  • Look for contrasty scenes

   – Examples:   A white fence against a deep green

                        Bright birds or flowers against a dark

                        Architecture against a blue sky

  • Look for interesting and detailed subjects without distracting backgrounds.
  • Concentrate on composition – use leading lines.
  • Look at the work of other photographers – LEARN from it and get INSPIRATION.
  • Practice makes perfect – and helps develop your eye.
  • Try to get it right as much as you can IN-CAMERA so you don’t send hours in post-processing.
  • AFTER processing – step away for a day – don’t post or print it immediately.

     – Look at it again – your perspective or mood may have changed.  Tweak accordingly.

     – Mood affects the way you see an image – work on it when you feel GOOD.

  • Join a photo club and enter your images in competitions.  Getting feedback helps you learn.

Geffrard’s System

  • Fuji XH1 system, Fuji Mirrorless and Medium-Format Film Camera 
  • Will occasionally use ND filters, but not Polarizing filters.
  • Photoshop is his primary post-processing program.

     – Started using Nik Silver FX, but has developed his own actions and pre-sets

Finding Geffrard

Photography Website                           Instagram
Roadrunner Photography Tours         


Understand Photography

General Notes

What you need to learn for a solid photography education.  Watch our free video:


Upcoming Trips:
St. Augustine – April 11-14, 2019
Florida’s Forgotten Coast – May 13-17,  2019
Women’s Photography Weekend, Naples – June 7 – 9, 2019
Tuscany Ladies Photo Workshop and Tour – 
Sept 28 – Oct 5, 2019

New Book!  Peggy Farren and Joe Fitzpatrick have published a book highlighting Florida’s Best Photo Spots!

Florida Photo Spots: Naples and Collier County by [Farren, Peggy, Fitzpatrick, Joe]

Understand Photography is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Geffrard Bourke Old School
Geffrard Bourke Panda
Geffrard Bourke Cloud Topped Peaks
Geffrard Bourke Clouded Landscape
Geffrard Bourke Seascape
Geffrard Bourke Americana

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