30 Stunning Examples of Black and White iPhone Photography

This week our iPhoneography contest was about black and white photography. About 500 really amazing photos were submitted to this contest and as always it wasn’t easy to select the winners. With that said, here are my personal favorites this week.





























































Which one of these photos is your favorite? Please let everyone know in the comments.

Analysis of the Winning Photos

Every week I take a few of the winning photos and do a short analysis explaining what I like about each photo and what iPhone photography lessons we can learn from them.



This photo really stands out thanks to it’s near-perfect symmetry. The author has positioned himself in the center of the bridge so that the support structures on both sides extend into the distance symmetrically. But more remarkably, the subject of the photo is also in the center of the bridge and her silhouette has found it’s place perfectly in the middle of the support structures without any overlap.

An then there’s the tilted umbrella… I don’t know what it is about tilted umbrellas, but they almost always look amazing and add a special feel to the photo. In this case the tilted umbrella stands out even more since the rest of the scene is so symmetrical.

Finally, pay attention to how the author uses post-processing to apply scratches and fade to this photo, both of which contribute to the timeless feel of this photo.



This masterpiece shows several qualities of a great sunset photo. First, there’s an interesting subject in the foreground who is admiring the same view that you see in the photo. It’s always a good idea to have another subject besides the sunset itself if you want your sunset photos to stand out.

There’s also great texture in the sand and in the sky, and the black and white processing is used to emphasize both. If you can choose when to shoot sunsets, always do it on a partially cloudy day since the sunsets are so much more beautiful when there are clouds in the sky.

And finally, the pink tones that are left in color really make this photo stand out. Such effects can be created in ColorSplash or in various masking apps such as Image Blender. While I have seen this effect successfully applied to many other subjects, here the author has masterfully applied it to the sky in a way that actually looks natural.



This photo is a prime example of how a powerful story can be told inside a photo. The stark contrast between the couple who bought so much stuff and the destitute old lady leaves us wondering whether the couple was kind enough to give the old lady any change.

Attention: The Contest Has Moved to EyeEm

Starting from this week I have decided to move the weekly photo contest from Instagram to EyeEm. I think that Instagram is an amazing platform and I will continue to upload my work to Instagram daily. However, EyeEm has several advantages for organizing a contest like this.

First, EyeEm saves photos at a higher resolution than Instagram. More and more people are switching to high-resolution devices such as Retina iPads and MacBooks, and photos from Instagram just don’t look good on those devices.

Second, EyeEm allows you to share your photos in any aspect ratio. While I enjoy square compositions, the other aspect ratios are equally important and with the contest moving to EyeEm there will surely be more non-square photos.

And finally, EyeEm is a great platform with more than 10 million users. The average photo quality on EyeEm is higher than on Instagram, and it generally attracts more serious photographers than Instagram. You can find me on EyeEm here.

To make the transition as easy as possible, during the first week you can submit any iPhone photos. Just add your photos to album IPS and you’re in. You can add photos to albums at the time of uploading or later using the Edit Photo option.

It’s OK to submit old photos as well as new ones, but please do not submit more than 10 photos. All photos must be shot and edited on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. I do not feature photos with watermarks. If you’re having trouble with EyeEm just leave a comment below and I’ll help you. The submission deadline is Sunday, March 23.

  • Sid Scotchman

    Love the sunset one. My jaw dropped when I first seen it. Great work to all the entries.

  • Awesome. I’ve been using EyeEm and 500px more than Instagram lately anyway.

  • Dave Rothschild

    Stunning collection Emil! Still trying to figure out Black and White photography. I love most of these, especially @jarboleya2’s image. Love the light on the bridge and overall composition. I tried EyeEm briefly but quickly went back to instagram. I may give it another shot.

    • jarboleya

      Dave Thanks, iPhoneography is my resolution this year, and I began with black and white photography two weeks ago. I read all post of Emil, he is my mentor and I like your advices. This is awesome and motivating for me.

    • Thanks, I’m so happy to hear that!

    • Try it out! Instagram is great, but I think EyeEm will be better for this contest.

  • Zach Antonick

    Congratulations to all the winners! I imagine it was hard to choose from over 500 photos… How do you add a photo to an album on EyeEm?

    • When you upload or edit a photo, there’s an “Add To Album” button next to the description field.

  • Fábio Morbec

    Great collection as usual! Btw, thanks for including mine (@morbec), that is one of my favorite shots. Sad that are you moving the contest to EyeEm, I tried it three times and always ended quitting my account. Not sure if I will give it another try.

    • Give it another try, I’d love to see you participate again!

  • johny_dayvid

    Extremely inspired after looking at all the winners for this week. Daps and pounds for all the winners! I appreciate the recognition of my photo Emil (@johny_dayvid). Still have a long way to go to even coming close to matching up to some of the galleries of these winners.

    • It’s learning process for all of us. Good luck next week!

  • Zach Antonick

    For one of the weekly contests, if possible, it might be neat to feature a guest judge or co-judge with you. Perhaps one of your contributors or interviewees? Just a thought.

    • I have considered that, but it would complicate things significantly. When you work with other people who volunteer their time, you never know if and when they’ll get back to you.

      I understand that my selections are biased towards certain styles or subjects, but we’re only doing this for fun, right?

    • Zach Antonick

      Of course! I love the contests each week. Keep up the good work.

  • Stuart Guest

    Hi Emil I will give eye em a try. Do you recommend I keep my same username as on Instagram ? Keep up the good work by the way. You have reignited my passion again.

    • Yes, I’d use the same username in case people already know you from Instagram.

    • Stuart Guest

      Ok Emil thank you.

    • atsash

      If you join let me know so I can follow you:)

    • Stuart Guest

      I’m on eye em now with the same username

    • Stuart Guest

      Hi atsash just getting to grips with eye em. Just a question? I see you have added what editing apps you have used, for example VSCO. Is this purely for information or does it work like a hashtag in Instagram.

    • atsash

      They are like hashtags. You touch the “add to album” button and then type your word.

  • atsash

    Congratulations to everyone! I can’t imagine having to choose. I agree with Dave. I’ve been trying to practice b&w but I wasn’t confident enough to enter:( I’m so inspired by all of the entries though. I’m definitely willing to give EyeEm a try at your recommendation. Thanks for pushing us to expand our horizons.

    • Don’t worry if your first B&W photos (or photos of any other genre) aren’t as good as you wish. The important thing is to practice and keep growing!

    • atsash

      Thank you for your encouragement. I am on EyeEm now and I’m wondering what determines the size of the photos that you post?

    • Zach Antonick

      I think it has to do with what aspect ratio and resolution they’re saved at on your phone. It would also change if or after you crop them. Correct me if I’m wrong though, Emil

    • atsash

      Thank you!

    • What do you mean – the size? Your EyeEm grid shows photos as thumbnails but you can always see them in full size by tapping on them.

      Zach is right with regards to the actual resolution.

    • atsash

      I mean that when I look at my grid (or anyone else’s grid) some photos are longer/wider etc. Zach answered my question though:)

  • Jeff

    Congrats to everyone!

  • Cary Gossett

    Thank you Emil! What a great honor to have my shot featured among outstanding photographs. And congrats to my friend Fabio Morbec! Best, Cary (cyner_g)

  • Kym Scott


    • Don’t worry, there’s a new contest going on every week!

  • Nicholas

    How do I find the ips folder, I am new to entering these competitions but I don’t know where to upload my photos to?

  • Nicholas

    How do I add to the album on eye em?

    • At the time of uploading when you enter the description you’ll also have the option to add your photo to a folder. Then type in IPS and you’ll find the IPS folder.

  • Nicholas

    Wait nvm

  • Clint

    I downloaded the eyeem app as I haven’t really used Instagram and thought I might participate in a future contest. I was ready to love it, but it kept continually asking me to enable location services(an insane amount of times) even though I selected “don’t ask me again.” EyeEm may save photos at higher resolutions, but they look pretty low resolution on anything larger than an iPhone (Desktop display is especially terrible). I also found the user interface a bit clunky.

    Oh well.. I guess it’s not for me!

    • I can see how location is important for EyeEm since they display photos near you by default (which I think is cool). The desktop version isn’t perfect, but I unlike on Instagram I have the option to get high-res versions of the submission so that they look better on this site. Anyway, I still hope to see you participate!

    • Clint

      Thanks Emil! Either way, I will continue to enjoy these contests and all the amazing photos!

  • Well done all – not sure I can join you over at EyeEm – I made the transition for a while and left IG, but seem to be more at home on IG now. I kind of agree with Clint that the interface can be a bit clunky there and it was a lot slower than IG – maybe that’s changed.

    • I hope to see you participate on EyeEm. The user interface is a bit confusing initially, but once you get used to it you’ll feel right at home. I think it’s a great platform – I wouldn’t have moved the contest otherwise!

    • Emil – I know you always think things through so I’m definitely going to have a look. By the way congrats on being a suggested user on IG! What an honor!!! Did they notify you ahead of time or did you just find out by a sudden influx of followers?

    • Thank you Geri! They sent me an email explaining everything. They have since removed me from the list as they keep rotating people all the time.

    • That is so fantastic. So you will still maintain your presence on IG, but just move the contest to EyeEm, right?

    • Yes, it would be crazy to just leave an audience of 51K 🙂