How to Get Black Skies for Black and White Photography?

Follow this tutorial to get the best black skies for your black and white photography. You’ll need a few supplies and some basic editing skills.

Checkout this video:


Creating black and white images with beautiful, deep blacks can be a challenge, but it is possible. Here are some tips to help you get started.

First, consider the lighting in your scene. Black and white photography tends to work best in low-contrast lighting, such as overcast skies or late in the day. Avoid harsh midday sun, which can create stark shadows and bright highlights that can be difficult to manage in black and white.

Next, pay attention to the tonal range in your scene. Black and white images rely on contrast to create drama and interest, so look for subjects with a wide range of tones from very light to very dark. Scenes with a lot of middle tones can be challenging to convert to black and white effectively.

Finally, when editing your black and white image, push the contrast slightly further than you might for a color image. This will help bring out the deep blacks that are so essential to a beautiful black and white photograph.

What You Need

In order to get truly black skies in black and white photography, you need three things: a dark sky, a filter, and long exposure times.

A dark sky is important because it will make it easier for your camera to capture the stars. A filter is important because it will help reduce the amount of light that is allowed to enter your camera. And finally, long exposure times are important because they will allow your camera to capture the stars as they move across the sky.

The Camera Settings

It’s actually quite simple to get started with black and white photography. The first thing you need to do is set your camera to black and white mode. This can usually be done in the settings menu. Once your camera is in black and white mode, all you need to do is point and shoot!

Of course, if you want to get a bit more creative with your black and white photos, there are a few things you can do. For example, you can experiment with different shutter speeds and aperture settings to create different effects. You can also try using different types of film or digital sensors for a unique look.

Whatever you do, have fun and experiment! Black and white photography can be a great way to get creative with your photography.

The Lens

In black and white photography, the darkness of the sky is determined by the contrast between the brightness of the clouds and the darkness of the surrounding shadows. To get a black sky, you need a lens that can produce high contrast images. There are two ways to achieve this:

1) Use a telephoto lens. This will allow you to compress the scene, making the clouds appear closer to the shadows and therefore increasing the contrast.

2) Use a wide aperture lens. This will allow you to let in less light, making the shadows appear darker relative to the clouds.

3) Use a combination of both techniques.

Keep in mind that using a telephoto lens or a wide aperture lens will also increase the brightness of the foreground, so you may need to use a ND filter to compensate for this.

The Location

One important factor in black and white photography is the location. To get the blackest skies possible, you need to be as far away from light pollution as possible. If you live in or near a city, it will be nearly impossible to get truly black skies. The best place to find pristinely dark skies is out in the country away from any artificial light sources.

The Time of Day

The best time of day for black and white photography is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This is when the sun’s position in the sky casts long shadows that can help to create more contrast in your images. If you’re shooting in color, you may want to consider using a black and white filter to convert your images after the fact.

The Weather

Cloudy days are actually great for black and white photography, as long as there are some interesting clouds in the sky. The clouds provide texture and contrast, and can really make a black and white photo pop. A completely overcast day can be good too, as long as there is some interest in the clouds. If the skies are completely clear, then you might want to consider shooting in color and just converting to black and white later.


Getting black skies in black and white photography can be done a few different ways, depending on how much post-processing you want to do. If you want to spend more time in front of the computer, there are a number of ways to darken the skies using software like Photoshop or Lightroom. Alternatively, if you’d rather spend more time behind the camera, there are a few things you can do to capture darker skies in-camera. In this article, we’ll explore both options so that you can decide what works best for you.


In summary, black and white photography is best achieved by using a medium to high contrast film, with low to moderate exposure levels. The contrast of the film combined with the lack of color information in the photo will produce a striking effect that can be quite beautiful.

Scroll to Top