Creating Dramatic Black and White Images for Instagram

If you've ever been swiping through Instagram and noticed that certain black and white images had a particularly dramatic, vintage, or even sharp look to it, chances are there was a bit more going on than simply selecting a basic filter. In this in-depth video walkthrough, Sean Tucker shows several techniques he uses to really pull the most out of Instagram images in black and white.

Tricks include adjusting different color luminance values in order to manipulate how deep or dark the sky might be (relative to buildings or people) and making images a bit more punchy with manually adjusting contrast through curves.

Sean uses the Darkroom app for iOS users, but also runs through the same techniques on Snapseed which would be for Android folks.

While using these techniques to mimic these popular looks, don't forget that you can also come up with your own style and methods for creating images that are pleasing to you. Visual trends can come and go, but as a photographer who might be trying to get more established, having your own look and style is important to make your work stand out. If you have such a technique, feel free to talk about it below in the comments as to what makes it something you like. Be sure to upload an example!

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Mike Wilkinson is an award-winning video director with his company Wilkinson Visual, currently based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Mike has been working in production for over 10 years as a shooter, editor, and producer. His passion lies in outdoor adventures, documentary filmmaking, photography, and locally-sourced food and beer.

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1 Comment

Learnt so much from this tutorial, can't wait to use it. Would love to see one on colour too. Great work!