Convert To Black And White For Stunning Architectural Photography

Last Updated on March 13, 2021

You can emphasize structure by converting your architectural photographs to black and white.

Architecture offers a photographer some of the strongest statements in any type of photography through it’s symmetrical compositional potential. But often times that power is stripped away in a color shot.

You can enhance your architectural graphic impact by simply converting your images to b&w.

I love creating monochromatic images of buildings whether doing so professionally or for my own portfolio.

How To Convert Your Photos To Black And White

city scape from street level

It’s really quite simple turning those mundane building shots into architectural masterpieces (that is only a slight overstatement).

Take your RAW files and bring them into Photoshop. Now take your b&w tool and drain out the weak color cast. Use the high contrast red filter preset for this.

Other than that the default settings may need no further tweaking to make your architectural elements pop from the image. You can tweak further but don’t go overboard.

Next put a curve adjustment layer on top of that. Keep your black points at their deepest DMax by holding the black point and then boost the overall contrast. Now select the higher point along the midrange of your tonal curve and pull that part up. This will boost the overall contrast.

Tip: DMax is simply a numerical representation that denotes the deepest black that printer ink or a film emulsion photo paper can produce.


This is more than enough to get those architectural images popping. Black and white is perfect for making bold statements and your images will benefit from this little technique. Feel free to tweak your settings a bit but I tend to find great results without going any further.

Going monochromatic takes a good eye for composition but when is that not the case? Taking some time to convert your images will actually help you better understand which images are best suited for converting.