why do black and white photos look better

Understanding the Complexities of Black and White Photography

It is true that photography started from black and white and while it was never something that was going to stay. However, things have changed dramatically over the past couple of years with people paying more and more attention to black and white photography and one thing that you might have witnessed is that black and white photos look better. But Why Do Black and White Photos Look Better? That is the question that a lot of people ask all the time and today, we are going to figure that out.

The understanding of this is not difficult, at all. Still, we are going to spend some time figuring out just what exactly you need to do in order to successfully understand why black and white photos look better than the ones that are in color.

Why Do People Look Better in Black and White Pictures?

Now, when we are discussing black and white photography, it has to be made clear that it is not something that is for everyone. Sure, a lot of people love it a lot but at the same time, you will find many critics as well, surrounding this photography type. Again, you cannot really please everyone and that is a given, to say the least.

Side-by-side comparison of a woman in both color and black and white, showcasing the pronounced features in monochrome

If you are wondering just why people look better in black and white pictures; the answer is rather simple and in front of you. So, let’s get started.

  • Eternal: Simply put, when you are looking at black and white photos, these are timeless or eternal, to say the least. This means that you are never really going to find yourself in a situation where you take photos that might not look good or stand the test of time.
  • No Distractions: Another excellent thing about black and white pictures is that they are free of any distractions that might come the way. Simply put, with black and white images, you do not really have to worry about anything in your picture looking out of place. So, you can always get something that is good and gets the message across.
  • Captures a Lot of Detail: If you do it correctly, a black and white picture can capture a lot more emotions than one might believe, to begin. This is not for everyone, but if you can manage the perfect contrast, you are going to capture a lot of detail.
  • Gets the Message Across: Another thing that I love black and white photography and black and white photographs, in general, is that they get the message across. If you are having trouble explaining something, go with a black and white portrait and you will be able to make the statement and get the message across.
black and white photo

Do Photos Look Better in Black and White?

This is a common question that has been around for as long as one can remember and while one can certainly argue against it, the fact is that in most cases, you are looking at black and white pictures and they do look better, too. The reasons are the same as the ones that I have mentioned above.

However, if there are naturally a lot of colors in the photo that you just took, I would highly advise against converting that image to black and white because it will ruin the essence that you are trying to go with and that is not what we would suggest to anyone, in the first place. 

Needless to say, whether photos look better in black and white is completely up to you. In some cases, they do, and in some cases, they don’t. Therefore, you better think before you go ahead and use the specific filter.

black and white forest shoot

Advantages and Disadvantages of Black and White Photography

When you are talking about black and white photography, you do have to understand some advantages and disadvantages associated with it. After all, not every photo is going to be the same. Some look excellent in colors, while others look amazing in black and white. Still, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of black and white photography.

The advantages are listed below.

  • It captures the images in a timeless manner and manages to divert the user’s attention with ease and accessibility.
  • Black and white photography can easily go ahead and distance the content material from what is real. The world is full of color but when you are putting something in black and white, people usually are a lot quicker to notice.
  • Black and white photography is also excellent when you are talking about highlighting negative space.
  • Additionally, the negative spaces are easier to culminate as there are no distractions that can be in the picture, making the colors stand out a lot better.

As for the disadvantages, you can look at them below.

  • Most of the time, black and white image can be either too emotional or not emotional at all.
  • Black and white photography can be very tricky and not every photographer can master it.
  • People often mistake black white photography with monochrome photography and that causes more confusion. 
black and white forest shoot

Frequently Asked Questions

When you are talking about black and white photos, the details get accentuated a lot more than anything else. The eyes, especially, can stand out a lot more and make the pictures look really dramatic.

The world, in general, looks different in black and white photos, and therefore, there are a lot of probabilities in which people end up looking better and sometimes different in black and white photos, as well. Allowing you to have a better understanding.

Yes, there are chances that the pictures you are taking can end up looking excellent in black and white. While I cannot confirm this for everyone, it is safe to say that this is not something that is going to come as a difficulty. If you have been wanting to make the pictures look good, you can easily go ahead and do that.


As someone who has delved into black and white photography for some time, I am fully aware of the fact that it can be an ordeal to deal with, and in some situations, things can get out of hand, too. However, if you are keen on learning, then getting your point across should not be difficult.

Every form of photography is based on trial and error, and you can easily get better at all of these by knowing what needs to be done and how to do it. 

This whole guide is here to help you understand black and white photography with ease. You will not have any issues that might come your way.

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