6 min read

Black and White Photography Books to Inspire You Today

6 min read

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black and white photography books

Black and white photography books have been inspiring people for decades. This genre has changed the way we look at the world. From its birthplace in France to modern cameras today, there is something truly timeless and beautiful when we look at black and white images.

Photographers around the world all agree that whether you use a darkroom, film camera, or digital camera, there is something to be said about the beauty and fine art look of black and white images.

This article will explore our list of top photography books that you should add to your collection if you want to create beautiful black and white photography on your own.

Each book on this list offers something different and inspiring to help you create your own fine art film or digital images. So let’s dive in!

Black and White Photography Books

Now that we are living in the digital age, black and white photography is often forgotten. But the greats such as Ansel Adams still keep us curious about the film age of black and white photography. Whether you shoot film, digital, or with your iPhone, every book on this list has something for you.

black and white photography book by Michael Freeman.

Black & White Photography: The timeless art of monochrome in the post-digital age by Michael Freeman

This book is beautifully designed and acts as a standard guide for everyone who is looking to learn how to take better black and white photographs. Michael Freeman shows off the work of iconic black and white photographers from around the globe, including Ian Berry, Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, and many other iconic photographers who shot film and digital images.

Black and white photography is explored through a variety of photographs that cover monochrome, developing, and digital workflows.

book by Henry Horenstein.

Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual by Henry Horenstein

This instructional book covers every piece of black and white film and digital photography. Henry Horenstein’s books are considered some of the best in the world of photographers and are used at many universities around the globe.

Learn the same way Harvard, Yale, and MIT graduates learn from his easy-to-follow how-to book on black and white photography.

book by harold davis.

The Photographer’s Black and White Handbook: Making and Processing Stunning Digital Black and White Photos by Harold Davis 

Photographer Harold Davis left nothing out of this book. You will find landscapes that inspire, techniques, and camera tools to help you succeed.

Learn workflows, how to print, basic editing techniques, exposure rules for black and white photographs, as well as many other tips and tricks to use in every photograph. This book acts not only as a resource for photographers but as a source of inspiration to add to your collection.

Black & White Photography Book by John Walmsley.

Mastering Black & White Photography by John Walmsley

This black and white photography book by John Walmsley perfectly illustrates the beauty of images made into black and white using the author’s own images.

Photographer Walmsley guides readers on the best equipment, composition, file types, and techniques to use for better black and white images.

Whether you are using a darkroom or digital photography, this book will show you how to apply special effects and print your images professionally.

black and white photography book by John Blakemore

John Blakemores Black & White Photography Workshop by John Blakemore

Renowned photographer and an expert in black and white photography, John Blakemore created this workshop to help photographers around the world.

He shares his photography secrets, practical tips, and professional knowledge from years of experience in the photographic world.

His landscapes will leave you wanting to read this manual from cover to cover. This book is an inspiration for photographers of all levels.

Michael Freeman books.

The Complete Guide to Black & White Digital Photography by Michael Freeman

Photographer Michael Freeman is back on our list of the best black and white photography books because of this beautifully illustrated photo book. The images are eye-capturing, and whether you are interested in film or digital photo examples, there is something for everyone.

The book is oversized and even teaches important techniques such as workflow and how to convert monochrome images. There are art-inspired landscapes and basic tools on every page. Learn the process for shooting better black and white images with this well-published guide added to our library.

From Snapshots to Great Shots.

Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots by John Batdorff 

Photographer John Batdorff helps readers to go beyond their camera manuals in this in-depth photography book. Each image helps photographers to better understand how to shoot and find inspiration from their surroundings.

You will learn the fundamentals of contemporary shots and how to create amazing photographs. Enjoy learning about fine art landscapes, film, photo basics, lighting, and camera settings. Just like Ansel Adams, you will learn how to convey emotion with every film role.

book by Harold Davis.

Creative Black and White: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques by Harold Davis

Best-selling photographer Harold Davis helps you face some of the hardest photography challenges in this book. Learn how to handle lighting and composition without color to guide you. Learn the basics of photographic elements and when to break them.

After finishing this book, your monochrome images will become more like art imitating life, and you will have a better understanding of contemporary photography. This is a book you need for your library. Whether you want to learn film photography or how to shoot in general, the process in this book will help you photograph the way you always imagined.

ansel adams book.

Ansel Adams, The Camera, Negative and Print titles (series of three books) by Ansel Adams

This photo book series is one that should be at the top of your list of books. Photographer Ansel Adams is renowned for his black and white landscapes, and these books are comprised of some of his best work plus more.

This three-part collection is one of the best in the world on how to shoot monochrome image work on film or digital cameras.

Each photo in the books will take you down a road of history in monochrome landscapes and photographic know-how. Many generations of photographers have learned from this contemporary collection, and these books will also change your photography life. Lastly, learn how to shoot from the eyes of Ansel Adams with these books.

Michael Kenna.

Michael Kenna: Images of the Seventh Day Hardcover by Sandro Parmiggiani 

Photography by Michael Kenna is highly acclaimed and contemporary. His film photo pieces are something that cannot be missed and are all brought together in this one book. Through his drama-filled photographic expertise, we see the art in black and white images.

Each photo will leave you wanting more and asking yourself important questions about black and white photography. There are over 290 images covering global events and important jobs. These film photos are some of the best black and white artwork on the planet.

seeking stillness.

Seeking Stillness by Olivier Du Tré

Olivier’s film work is profound and subtle. We gain glimpses of life and especially nature through his lens. If you are a film buff or want to better your photo work in general, his book is worth picking up. You will expertise life with new eyes after paging through this exciting photographic novel.

Filled page to page with art image after art image, readers travel the globe through his pages. Du Tre uses a traditional photographic method, including a darkroom and a large format camera to make each photo film.

Want More?

If you enjoyed this list of black and white photography books, maybe you are looking for ways to make your own photos more beautiful? We created an online course all about black & white photography! Join our very own Taya Iv as she teaches you how to shoot better black and white photographs. The access lasts forever, so you can complete it as slow or as fast as you like!

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Krystal Kenney is an award-winning photographer residing in Paris, France. She has been photographing for over 10 years and enjoys teaching others about the craft. She spends most days shooting events, portraits, and weddings around Paris and working on writing new books.
Krystal Kenney is an award-winning photographer residing in Paris, France. She has been photographing for over 10 years and enjoys teaching others about the craft. She spends most days shooting events, portraits, and weddings around Paris and working on writing new books.

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