Your Tips For Great Landscape Photos

The Secrets of Great Black and White Landscape Photography

black and white lightroom Dec 07, 2022
black and white landscape photography tips for beginners

Learn the simple secrets of creating amazing black and white landscape photography that you can use to improve your photos.

Let me tell you a story of how I learned to take black and white landscape photography.

I was trying to photograph sand dunes one warm afternoon in Death Valley last January. After hours of braving the desert, I came back with literally nothing I liked on my memory card.

Let me know if you've tried the next thing I did...

Since I didn't like any of the photos, I just switched them to black and white to see if they worked. Spoiler alert: they didn't... yet.

The next morning I was talking with my friend Cole Thompson about his next photo project. "Black and white photos of powerlines," Cole told me with a grin.

What?! Powerlines?

If Cole could make powerlines look cool in black and white then I needed to figure out black and white.

The next several days I dove into black and white photos to see if there were any consistent things that made them good.

In my research, I discovered two things:

1. Every good black and white photo has strong separation between highlights and shadows.

2. There was more to black and white editing than I thought.

After my findings I knew these would help so many photographers who have told me that they just switch color photos to black and white to see if they would work.

Keeping this information to myself would be a disservice to you and so many others in the community.

I made a video describing how to separate tones in black and white photography to make the composition great plus showing several examples. After watching the video, you'll understand what makes a great black and white landscape photo and how to see those opportunities in the field.

Click the image below to watch the video...

So, you know how to see a potentially great black and white landscape photo.

How do you edit that photo to take it to the next level?

I had that question too. 

Until I found this one tool.

It's called the black and white mix tool in Lightroom. Several other software have similar tools, so if you're not using Lightroom don't worry, you can still do this.

These sliders are actually pinpointing what are called luminance values in your photos. These values are digital information you can use to pull out brighter or darker tones in your black and white photos. 

It's pretty technical for text, so I made this video for you to show you exactly where this tool is and how you can use it best. 

After watching, you'll be a master of black and white editing! The best part is... it's not that hard! You can do it!

Watch the video below.

You are now a master of black and white landscape photography.


Sometimes we get so lost in our head and anxieties about photography and knowing what to do. If that hits home for you it's because I deal with it too. So many people do. 

You're different because you're willing to learn something new and take the bold step to try. 

Remember, no matter what your photo goals are...

You're only one photo away.