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Online Photography Course
Mastering Black-and-White

Become a better photographer today!

Join 's Course: 4-Week Short Course: Mastering Black-and-WhiteBlack-and-white has become an elegant way of capturing the world in photography. In this online course, you will learn the key ways of getting the best from black-and-white as you shoot, then how to make the best translation from color to B&W in the computer. Instructor is pro photographer Rob Sheppard, editor-at-large of Outdoor Photographer magazine and author of over 30 books about photography. The course includes short instructional videos, so you can actually see what is happening to colors and light as they are changed to black-and-white. Becoming a better black-and-white photographer will help you become a better photographer in color, too!
Key Features

  1. Getting Started with Black-and-White
  2. Light and Black-and-White
  3. Color to Black-and-White
  4. Interpreting Black-and-White

NOTE: This fully interactive course features video lessons!

  • For Intermediate and Advanced Photographers.
  • Learn how to shoot black-and-white right.
  • Discover how to get the best from black-and-white photography.
  • Learn the basics of conversion to black-and-white in Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements and Nik Software Color Efex 2.
  • Go beyond simply saying you have a black-and-white photo to crafting something unique and special.
  • Guidance from an experienced digital photographer, editor and writer who knows how to help photographers succeed with black-and-white.
  • Course designed for anyone who wants to start on the process to getting better black-and-white photos right from the start of shooting the subject.
  • Video lessons explain - and show! - the techniques.

What You Get


You get direct feedback on your photos from world-acclaimed, professional photographers. You can learn photography in this way from anywhere in the world.  
  • Learn at your pace, with structure.
  • Be guided by a real pro instructor.
  • Get your photos critiqued every week.
  • Join students from around the world.
  • Go far beyond any book or DVD.
  • Make great pictures, again and again!



Photography Instructor: Rob  Sheppard Rob Sheppard
Rob Sheppard has had a long-time and nationally recognized commitment to helping photographers become better photographers, regardless of the equipment and technology. He was the editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine for 12 years and was the original editor of PCPhoto (now Digital Photo). Now he is editor-at-large.

He is also the author/photographer of over thirty photo books, including The Magic of Digital Landscape Photography, The National Geographic Field Guide to Photography - Digital, and Adobe® Photoshop Lightroom for Digital Photographers Only. He writes regularly for Outdoor Photographer and teaches around the country, including workshops for the Palm Beach Photographic Centre and the Light Photographic Workshops. His Web site for workshops, books and photo tips is at, and his blog on nature and photography is at

As a photographer, Rob worked for many years in Minnesota (before moving to Los Angeles), including doing work for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Norwest Banks (now Wells Fargo), Pillsbury, 3M, General Mills, Lutheran Brotherhood, Ciba-Geigy, Anderson Windows, and others. His photography has been published in many magazines, ranging from National Geographic to The Farmer to, of course, Outdoor Photographer and PCPhoto.

He and his wife, Vicky (married 30+ years), live in the Los Angeles area. They have a son working on his Ph.D. in youth sports and education, and a daughter studying communications/journalism.

Also see Rob's Nature and Photography blog.

A Couple of Photos by the Instructor

© Rob Sheppard 

© Rob Sheppard 

Course Outline


Lesson 1: Getting Started with Black-and-White
Learn what black-and-white photography is really about and something of its tradition. You will discover the three keys to better black-and-white when you shoot and gain some ideas on how to work with your camera when shooting for black-and-white.
Assignment: Solidify your technique as you work on finding black-and-white photographs around you. Following the tips and examples in the lesson, submit images that use black-and-white effectively.

Lesson 2: Light and Black-and-White
All photography is based on light, but with black-and-white, how you use light can be even more important. You can often get away with soft light for color that does not work with black-and-white. This lesson will get you seeing light for shooting black-and-white. 
Assignment: Experiment with just using light to define black-and-white compositions and submit images that show this.

Lesson 3: Color to Black-and-White
Learn why it is so important to shoot in color in order to get the best black-and-white. Discover how to translate images from color to black-and-white in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom and Nik Software Silver Efex Pro.
Assignment: Experiment with translating color to black-and-white and submit examples of these experiments to discover what is possible.

Lesson 4: Interpreting Black-and-White
To be successful with black-and-white, you must start thinking interpretation. In this lesson you will look at some specific interpretations of black-and-white and how to work a photo effectively.
Assignment: Show off your black-and-white interpretations of a scene or subject.

© Rob Sheppard 

© Rob Sheppard 



  • Any digital camera that includes the capability to shoot in black-and-white (most do today).
  • A passion for photography and a desire to work in the very different form of black-and-white photography.
  • A willingness to critically examine your work as you explore black-and-white and discover how you can develop new ideas about all of your photography.
  • Desire to find a place for your photography in publications.



Will this class help me learn more about photography?
Definitely. The class is designed to help you look at your photography from a new perspective: black-and-white.  

Will this class help me learn more about my camera?
The class is not about any specific brand or model, but the lessons and assignments will get you exploring your camera and its controls related to black-and-white. 

Does my camera need to be expensive - a professional model?
No. Any digital camera with the capability of shooting black-and-white will work. You will find the creative options of using different shutter speeds, apertures and focal lengths helpful, which all SLRs give you.  

Do I need anything else in the way of equipment?

© Rob Sheppard 

© Rob Sheppard 

Do I have to be online at any specific time?
No, you do not need to be online at any specific time. The lessons are sent to your email and you are also provided the Campus Square - where you interact with your classmates and instructor. This is also where you upload your photos to be critiqued by your instructor. The instructors are very punctual and respond quickly.

Will I have access to the instructor to ask questions during the photo course?
Absolutely! Students can ask questions in the special Q&A forum set up in the course's Campus Square, or can ask the instructor via email.

Do you offer a money back guarantee?
Yes. We are confident that you will fully enjoy our courses. All the same, for our 8-week classes, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent out. If for any reason, you are not satisfied and let us know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #3 is sent, you will be promptly refunded.

For our 4-week courses, we offer a 100% money back guarantee before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent out from BetterPhoto. If for any reason you are not satisfied and you let the ordering department know that you would like to withdraw before the Wednesday that Lesson #2 is sent, you will be refunded within 7 days. After the second lesson has been sent out, no refunds will be given.

Still have questions about this course? Ask Us

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At a Glance
4-Week Short Course
Category: Photoshop Courses

$198.00 USD
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Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Read all 12 reviews

Course Reviews:

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
Utila Matzke
member since: 12/1/2009
This is a wonderful class from a great teacher. It has opened for me a whole world of enjoyment and creativity, taking pictures as well as processing them afterwards. Thank you very much Rob

- 5/10/2014 3:07:34 PM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Rajiv Chopra
Rajiv Chopra
member since: 12/25/2006
This is a marvelous course. Rob is a fantastic instructor. I had started my photography doing B&W, and when I switched to digital, my brain switched from tones to color. Rob's course, his videos were really good, and helped me get back on track.

The videos bring the course to life. I really appreciate this
The critiques are excellent, punctual, detailed and respectful.

- 4/4/2014 1:20:25 AM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Richard J. Boyle
Richard J. Boyle
member since: 11/3/2013
Rob Sheppard is a very gifted instructor who provides super fast and most useful critiques. In fact, I reworked each image based on his critiques and learned a lot. I loved reading the critiques provided to my classmates as Rob always had a unique perspectives. If you want a quality course on digital black & white photography, search no more, this is it.
The lesson videos are excellent and interesting.

Dick Boyle

- 2/2/2014 1:35:11 PM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member John D. Roach
John D. Roach
member since: 11/2/2010
Excellent course again put on by BP and Rob. Rob is detailed and focused. He is one of the best instructors I have had the honor to learn from. I highly recommend taking all of his courses, he will show you the way.

- 12/5/2013 10:33:15 AM

5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5
BetterPhoto Member Dene Shaver
Dene Shaver
member since: 12/31/2008
I loved this class! Now I see in black and white!

- 10/7/2013 2:50:38 PM

Read all 12 course reviews...

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More Delighted Customers:

"Your critiques have been great, and this has been one of the best BetterPhoto classes I have taken!" -Elaine Baker, student in Rob Sheppard's A Darkroom Called Lightroom course 

"Excellent course! I liked Rob's style of video presentation." -John D. Roach in A Darkroom Called Lightroom 

"I would like to tell you personally how much I have enjoyed your class. I have learned so much, and your critiques were thoughtful and encouraging." -Gina Rosen in A Darkroom Called Lightroom 

"Rob, I just want to thank you for providing me with your insight and knowledge. I have learned so much from your lessons and your comments, and I look forward to continue to put these concepts into use." -Joan Reuben in Rob's Composition Boot Camp course 

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