Cloudy Skies? Try Black & White

Cottonwood Tree in Winter
Frenchtown, Montana

When winter skies turn overcast and gray, don't leave your camera in a closet. Get it out and switch to black & white or monochrome mode. Also consider increasing the contrast settings so the blacks are darker and the whites are brighter. Then venture out and look for subjects you can frame against the sky. The clouds act like a studio backdrop and simplify the picture. Since there is also likely to be some snow on the ground, the white sky does not call attention to itself.

If you are capturing raw files, the pictures will change back to color in your raw editor. You can set the camera to record both raw and JPEG versions, so you can have a digital black and white right away.

And smartphone shooters, check your camera filters for grayscale or "noir" or similar options so you can make instant black and white images, too.

Learn more suggestions in my Introduction to Black & White Photography, beginning January 30, 2024, at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. Traditional and cell phone cameras are both welcome. Get the details and register here.