203: Black & White Photography

Learn how to see, think, and expose for black-and-white photography with a digital camera.

Dis­cov­er the fine art tra­di­tion of black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy using your dig­i­tal cam­era. Learn tech­niques for pre-visu­al­iza­tion and expo­sure, and under­stand how con­trast, tex­ture, and tone influ­ence the black-and-white aes­thet­ic.

$84 • 3‑hour work­shop • Lim­it­ed to 5 stu­dents • Pro instruc­tor


This 3‑hour black-and-white photography workshop presents the following:

  • A brief his­to­ry of pho­to­graph­ic tech­nol­o­gy
  • When to choose black-and-white vs colour
  • Influ­ence of light on mono­chrome pho­tog­ra­phy
  • Influ­ence of colour on mono­chrome pho­tog­ra­phy
  • Inter­play of con­trast, tone, and tex­ture
  • Com­mon cam­era set­tings for manip­u­lat­ing black-and-white out­put


There’s a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion that good black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy is sim­ply desat­u­rat­ed colour images. This couldn’t be far­ther from the truth. For almost a cen­tu­ry after the expo­sure of the first pho­to­graph in 1827, pho­tog­ra­phy exist­ed pre­dom­i­nant­ly as a mono­chrome medi­um. Fol­low­ing the inven­tion and democ­ra­ti­za­tion of a prac­ti­cal and cost-effec­tive colour process, black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy enjoyed a heavy pres­ence among fine art and enthu­si­ast pho­tog­ra­phers. The col­lec­tive time, effort, and exper­i­men­ta­tion of innu­mer­able pho­tog­ra­phers have result­ed in sev­er­al aes­thet­ic con­ven­tions that can help you cre­ate strik­ing black-and-white pic­tures. 

Ele­vate your pho­to­graph­ic hori­zons and dis­cov­er a tra­di­tion­al aes­thet­ic using mod­ern tools. This work­shop offers guid­ance for deter­min­ing which pho­to­graph­ic sit­u­a­tions are bet­ter suit­ed for black-and-white ver­sus colour rep­re­sen­ta­tion. We’ll dis­cuss how the rules of pho­tog­ra­phy apply dif­fer­ent­ly to black-and-white images. Our goal is to show you how to rec­og­nize great oppor­tu­ni­ties for black-and-white pho­tos and how to turn those moments into cap­ti­vat­ing pic­tures.

Dur­ing the prac­ti­cal por­tion of the work­shop, we’ll explore how you can apply the con­cepts learned in the pre­ced­ing half of the les­son to real-world black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy. 

Important Details

Accepted cameras:

  • All brands of dig­i­tal cam­eras are accept­ed for this work­shop
  • This course is designed for DSLR and mir­ror­less inter­change­able lens cam­eras, and enthu­si­ast com­pact cam­eras.
  • Con­tact us if you’re unsure about your camera’s suit­abil­i­ty for this work­shop.

What to bring:

  • Cam­era and lens
  • Bat­tery (ful­ly charged)1If you’re par­tic­i­pat­ing in more than one work­shop, please bring either your bat­tery charg­er or a sec­ond bat­tery to ensure you can oper­ate your cam­era through­out the day.
  • Mem­o­ry card (emp­tied)
  • Cam­era man­u­al

What to wear

Our pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops fea­ture out­door exer­cis­es to apply the the­o­ret­i­cal con­cepts into prac­tice. Mon­i­tor the weath­er fore­cast and ensure you dress appro­pri­ate­ly for the conditions—especially on cold days.2 Please note that the lithi­um bat­ter­ies pow­er­ing your cam­era may exhib­it dimin­ished pow­er out­put in cold con­di­tions. When sub­ze­ro air tem­per­a­tures are fore­cast for the day of your work­shop, we rec­om­mend bring­ing two or more cam­era bat­ter­ies.

Meeting/workshop location

Our class­room-free work­shops take place out­doors, involve walk­ing and fea­ture loca­tions that may not be ful­ly acces­si­ble. In gen­er­al, we meet at the South­west cor­ner of Dan­forth Ave and Monarch Park Ave, in Toronto’s east end (5‑minute/300m walk from the Green­wood sub­way sta­tion).

We reserve the right to change the meet­ing loca­tion and will noti­fy you at least 48 hours in advance of such changes. A mod­i­fied meet­ing loca­tion will always be with­in 500m of a TTC sub­way sta­tion.

Cancellation and refunds

Cancellations, refunds, and rescheduling

My com­plete can­cel­la­tion and refund pol­i­cy is found in the Terms of Sale. The fol­low­ing sum­ma­ry is for your con­ve­nience:

  • All sales are final, and no refunds are giv­en if you can­cel.
  • If unex­pect­ed issues occur, you can resched­ule up to 24 hours before your group pho­tog­ra­phy work­shop is sched­uled to start.