How to Take Black and White Photos on iPhone

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If you want a smartphone with a highly-capable camera, you should consider the Apple iPhone. An iPhone can take stunning photos if you want to learn the best photography settings. Some individuals learn how to take black and white pictures on iPhone cameras to experiment with their art forms.

There are two ways you can achieve black and white photos on your smartphone. First, change the settings in the camera to capture the images without color. You can also learn how to post-process your photos, turning them to black and white using editing techniques.

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New Lens Options

Whether you want to take a black and white or colored photo on your iPhone, you can experiment with the available lenses. Apple added the wide-angle lens, starting with the iPhone 11. With this feature, you can reach an aperture of f1.8 and a focal length as small as 26mm.

How Can I Take Black and White Photos Manually on iPhone?

As mentioned, you can learn how to take black and white photos on iPhone cameras without making any edits. There are a couple of different features you can use.

Camera Filters

One of the best ways to learn how to take black and white photos on iPhone devices is to use the pre-installed camera filters. This method will work on still and live pictures.

The required steps vary if you have an iPhone 11 or newer or an iPhone 10 or older.

iPhone 11 or Newer Versions

Use the steps below to access your iPhone 11 or newer’s camera filters for black and white photos.

  1. Open the Camera app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the upward-facing arrow in the top middle of the screen. You can also swipe up on the screen.
  3. Press the “Filter” icon. It will look like three circles.
  4. Choose the appropriate filters. Those that make your images black and white are Noir, Silvertone, and Mono.
  5. Tap the shutter button. It will resemble a white circle in the middle of the bottom of your screen.

iPhone 10 or Older Versions

The steps required for using camera filters on an iPhone 10 or below are very similar to those listed above. Learn more below.

  1. Open the Camera app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the filter icon at the bottom of the screen. It resembles three circles.
  3. Choose the filter you prefer. Black and white options include Noir, Silvertone, and Mono.
  4. Press the shutter button in the middle of the bottom of the screen. Remember, it looks like a large white circle.

Portrait Mode

Portrait mode is one of the newest features available on the iPhone camera. It comes with iPhone 8 Plus and any later models.

Portrait mode gives your subjects a clean and crisp look against a blurred background. The results are often studio-level quality.

You can learn how to take black and white photos on iPhone devices using some portrait mode options. Learn how to access these features using the steps below.

  1. Open the Camera app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll through the options at the bottom of the screen until you get to the word “Portrait.”
  3. Frame your subject in the yellow box that shows up on the screen.
  4. Drag the cube icon to change the portrait setting. Only some of them make your photos black and white.
  5. Press the shutter icon to take the photo. It resembles a large white circle at the bottom of the screen.

Black and White Portrait Mode Options

Learn how to take black and white photos on iPhone cameras using the portrait mode settings below. These options are what you can choose from in step four above.

  • Stage Light Mono: There is a spotlight on the face. The background is deep black.
  • High-Key Light Mono: Your subject is grey-scale, and the background is a bright white.

The high-key light mono option above is only available on iPhone X and later models. You do have to use the front camera for this setting.

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Adjust the Exposure

You must always have an appropriate white balance, no matter the type of photo you want to take on your iPhone. You can adjust your exposure settings on an iPhone if you tap and hold on to the screen. Drag the dial under the sun icon to change this setting as desired.

Turning Your Photos to Black and White Using Editing Techniques

If you would rather engage in the editing process than use the steps above for learning how to take black and white photos on iPhone devices, continue reading. There are built-in features in the Photos app and a couple of third-party options.

Using the Photos App

Photos comes with every iPhone, and it is one of the best black and white photo editor app options. You can perform advanced functions or use the pre-installed effects.

Choosing a Pre-Installed Effect

You will recognize many of the same filter names when using the pre-installed effects on the Photos app. Use the steps below to access these options.

  1. After you take a photo using the Camera app, open Photos.
  2. Find the image that you need to edit to black and white.
  3. Press “Edit” in the top right corner of the screen.
  4. Choose the “Effects” icon on the bottom of the screen. It resembles three circles.
  5. Scroll over until you find the black and white options. The options will include Mono, Silvertone, and Noir.
  6. Preview your black and white image above the effect options.
  7. Press “Done” in the bottom right corner when you are happy with the results.

Advanced Editing Features

If you would rather make the black and white edits yourself, you can use the advanced editing features on the Photos app. Start with the steps below to begin.

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone and find the image you want to edit.
  2. Click on “Edit” in the top right corner.
  3. Click on the “Adjust” icon at the bottom of the screen. It will resemble a dial.
  4. Scroll over to the “Saturation” option. Move the timeline to -100 by dragging it to the left.

After removing saturation from an image, you can perform other editing techniques. Adjust the brightness to make the image darker, or increase the exposure to lighten it up.

Move noise reduction to the right to reduce graininess and increase sharpness to make your images crisper. Finally, adjust the shadows and highlights to focus on the brightness in specific areas of your photos.

Third-Party Options

If you want to experiment with your options, download a third-party editing app for your iPhone. Learn about a couple of the best in the information below.

1. Lightroom CC Mobile

Lightroom CC Mobile is the best black and white photo editor app that you can get from the Apple App Store. It has comprehensive features and is free for anyone to use.

Lightroom CC Mobile is an app for black and white photos with color in parts of the image. It is also able to add effects like text and more.

Learn how to use Lightroom CC Mobile to make your photos black and white using the steps below.

  1. Download Lightroom CC Mobile from the Apple App Store.
  2. Click on the photo that you want to edit.
  3. Tap on the “Color” option at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Press “B&W” to turn the photo black and white.

This mobile app lets you perform more advanced editing after you turn an image to black and white. Learn more below.

  • Adjust the gray values by tapping “Mix.” You can lighten and darken specific colors.
  • Use the “White Balance” edits to adjust the exposure, brightness, noise level, and more.

2. Snapseed

If you want another of the best black and white photo editor app options, consider using Snapseed. Google makes this software.

Snapseed is a free black and white photo editor. You can learn to use it by reading the steps below.

  1. Download Snapseed from the Apple App Store.
  2. Upload the photo you want to be black and white.
  3. Select the “Filters” option. Choose from the monochrome options.
  4. Choose any additional tools to add a vignette, straighten, crop, or lighten your image.

Tips for Black and White Photography on Your iPhone

When you learn how to take black and white photos on iPhone devices, there are several tips you can incorporate. Those provided below will ensure you capture beautiful images without performing extensive post-editing. Continue reading to learn more.

1. Train Your Mind

The first tip is to train your mind to see your surroundings in black and white. Learn to appreciate the lights, textures, and color tones that are all around you. These qualities are what you want to capture with black and white images.

2. Focus on the Exposure

The most important trait you can focus on is exposure when shooting in black and white. When you move this dial on your iPhone, you change how much lightness or darkness exists in your image. You likely want your subject light and background dark in a black and white photo.

3. Pay Attention to Contrast

When shooting in black and white, try to look for natural contrast in your surroundings. You will need to notice where any depth exists. Ultimately, you want thick lines that will make your subject stand out.

4. Do Not Forget the Filters

As mentioned, the iPhone camera comes with several filters that you can incorporate when shooting your images. Try these options out!

You can experiment in the post-production process. It will work if you do not appreciate the features of the filters.

Take Beautiful Black and White Photos

It is easy to learn how to take black and white photos on iPhone devices. You can turn on the filters existing in the Camera app, such as Noir, for instance. Try the new portrait mode to have a crisp and clear subject with a blurry background.

If you want to shoot in color, you can edit your images to black and white in the post-production process. Use the Photos app to incorporate one of the pre-installed effects. Reduce your saturation to -100 to pull out all of the colors from your image.

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