Smartphone Photography: The Best Black & White Filters

Submitted by Andrea Bruchwitz on Fri, 01/27/2017 - 09:54
The best apps for your smartphone
Find the best b/w filter apps for your smartphone

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it,” said legendary American photographer Ansel Adams. High-contrast images are especially captivating in monochrome pictures. The image lies under a thin silver film and appears timeless, almost sculptural. Transform your smartphone pictures into beautiful works of art in a snap – it’s easy using the right app.


The VSCO app is extremely popular among bloggers and photo enthusiasts. It has over 100 filters that can all be individually adjusted. That means you can give your photos a warm, high-contrast look or a cooler appearance and put them through a wide range of black-and-white filters. The monochrome presets all apply subtly different levels of contrast and brightness, allowing for perfect fine tuning.


The additional editing functions are reduced to the bare essentials, allowing contrast, saturation, brightness, and straightening corrections. Using the app is intuitive and easy. The standard version is free, and the premium version is available for a yearly subscription fee of $19.99.

Dramatic Black & White

The app Dramatic Black & White was made exclusively for black and white photographs and has been widely used for many years. It allows the user to adjust the lighting, texture, form and contrast. One of the best features is the ellipse-shaped spotlight tool, which allows you to create targeted light reflections in selected areas. The app is yours for a one-time fee of $2.99.

The slick app is easy to use
© Dramatic Black & White

Simply Black & White

The slick app Simply Black & White is easy to use and great for beginners. It includes all the important editing functions. There are different color filters and vignettes, and the grain, contrast, and light intensity can all be adjusted. Another major plus? The app is free.

Smartphone apps for monochrome pictures
© Simply B&W

Pro tip: Fall is an incredible time for black-and-white nature photography! The next time you’re out for a walk in the woods, take a closer look at your surroundings. Black-and-white does not mean an absence of color – it opens up a universe of new possibilities. Want to enjoy your best monochrome shots on your own wall? You can show your smartphone images with WhiteWall - up to a scale of nearly three by four feet. We are a dependable lab with more than 100 awards and recommendations.


Do you want to show your best black and white photographs? Try our high-quality Baryta paper. Bartya paper was invented in 1866 and is a classic, gallery-quality photo paper that won’t fade for at least 75 years.

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