What Is Monochrome Photography?

When it comes to Monochrome Photography, we need to understand the term. 

The word monochrome means single color. So you have a monochromatic photo that consists of only one color. It can be composed of various shades of the same color (for instance you can have very dark and very light shades of red) and still be monochromatic.

What’s the difference between black & white / monochrome photography?

Monochrome photography is a lot like champagne. Not all sparkling wine is champagne, but all champagne is sparkling wine.

Monochrome in black and white photography are similar. Not all monochrome photos are black and white but all black and white photos are monochromatic.

Are sepia photos monochrome?

Yes, sepia are monochromatic, but often the next question people wonder is: Why are old photos sepia tone?

The word sepia is a Latin derivative of the Greek name for common cuttlefish. As it turns out using ink from this fish in a concentrated form gives the photographs their distinct color.

Although sepia photos are pleasing to the eye, the original reason for using this treatment was to help preserve the images. According to some accounts, sepia photos lasted 50% longer than their alternatives. The color and the benefit of longer lasting photos comes from the chemical process that takes place when the photos are treated in dark room.

Are Black and White Photos Monochrome?

Yes. Technically black and white photos are monochromatic. Even though they are Shades of Grey it’s still a single color that makes up the image. Dark and light values have no bearing on whether photos are monochromatic or not, the key distinction in being monochromatic is that they are comprised of a single color regardless.

Is sepia better than black and white?

This is really a judgment call. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. if the goal is to have a warm and inviting image CB is probably the better choice. if however your ultimate goal is a high contrast dramatic image black and white is probably the better choice in this case.

There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to choosing black and white vs sepia for your monochromatic photos, it’s really up to you and what mood you’re trying to set.

All the times if I’m not quite sure which is the better choice I’ll try each, compare them and then I’ll decide. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try out different versions to see what you like best.

What color is closest to sepia?

The closest color to sepia really depends on which reference photo you’re using as the base. More often than not you want to start with a warm but dull orange/brown. there’s really no right or wrong color here, just what you feel like looks best. of course overtime sepia photos have a tendency to shift colors so trying to get a precise match can be difficult.

The best way to get the sepia color you like, is to find a reference photo and mix your color overlay accordingly.

Best cameras for monochrome photography

There’s an old joke, the best camera is the one that you have with you. Nowadays most cameras can shoot a variety up color modes. that being said I caution you from shooting in any particular mode. Be it sepia, black and white, HDR Etc. From my perspective, I want as much flexibility as possible when it comes to post production. If you shoot for flexibility you can always update the style of your photos once they’re in Lightroom. if you’re in the field and you shoot a particular style and you decide to change your mind after the fact you have a little flexibility to achieve your new vision.

When it comes to digital photography, all modern cameras will give you high quality image that you can manipulate in post-production. Don’t shy away from using even your cell phone to capture the perfect shot. In the end if you get flexible source material you can manipulate it to your heart’s content to achieve your desired look.