In the digital photography age I still make a lot of black and white photographs. With an iPhone black and white photo it sometimes works better to draw the attention to the subject, without the distraction of the other colors. Structures and shapes come out better; the structure of the moving reed in the second photo of the Noordermolen only became visible after the black and white conversion. Especially long exposure photos of landscapes are very suitable to convert to black and white. By long exposure, water becomes wrinkle-free and moving clouds give extra dynamics. Black and white also gives a picture something special and fortunately I do not need the doka anymore. In this blog I show some examples of iPhone black and white photography.
Make an iPhone photo black and white
In Snapseed I edit and convert the iPhone photos to black and white. This software is from Google and free. In 2011, Snapseed (then from Nik Software) was iPad App of the year and was later bought by Google.
Snapseed (App store) has a number of filters especially for converting to black-and-white photos. It has filters that were also used for analog cameras such as red, orange, yellow, green and blue filters. You can also choose from the standard contrast, bright, dark, film and dark sky presets. After converting you can further edit the photo, such as adding vignetting and ambiance. You can also start editing and later convert the photo, for example, first apply HDR emulation.
I am currently shooting with an iPhone 8 Plus and the camera app Lightroom CC Mobile in RAW
Examples of iPhone black and white photography
These photos are made with an iPhone 6s and the app Slow Shutter Cam. Then they were edited in Snapseed and converted to black and white. I used the orange filter for the dark skies. With the tool tune image / ambiance I added contrast, without the loss of details in the dark and light parts of the photos.
iPhone black and white photography example Meerstad
This iPhone black and white photo was made with the app Slow Shutter Cam. With this app you can set a long shutter speed, after which the exposure is automatically controlled. The chosen shutter speed for this photo was 1 minute. I did not have a tripod with me and to prevent movement of the iPhone, I held it against the window of my car and made the picture through the glass.
Convert to black and white
It was dark weather that day and as you can see on the second photo, the colors were boring. That’s why I converted the photo to black and white. Snapseed, my favorite photo editing app for the iPad, has filters and presets especially for black-and-white photos. I converted this image to monochrome with the preset tools / black and white / clear and then cropped it. With tools / vignette I have made the corners and edges somewhat darker so that the emphasis is on the middle.
First I straigthened the photo.
The Stacks in Snapseed
In Snapseed, all editing steps can be modified or removed. This screenshot shows the order of the steps and the options for editing and deleting.
Video explanation about Stacks
Filters and black and white presets
I imported the iPhone photo below of the Tasmantower in Snapseed and then converted it to black and white with the black and white / contrast preset. I also made this photo with Slow Shutter Cam; the exposure time was 30 seconds.
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iPhone black and white photo edited with the orange filter
I photographed these gulls on the boat to Texel. Due to the effect of the orange filter (black / color filter / orange) the blue sky becomes dark, so that the seagulls stand out nicely.
Video explanation about the Noir filter
With the black-and-white filter Noir you can have the photo look like it is printed in a dark room
Export to jpg
To use an edited photo in other applications, you must first save it. The edits are saved together with the photo so that you can later modify or delete them and add new ones. Then export the final photo to jpg.