I haven’t been a photographer for very long, as I only started to think about it seriously back in January 2014, when a friend of mine encouraged me to do so. However, I’ve always enjoyed carefully looking through books on Photography, reminiscing through vintage family photographs stacked in my home and generally paying attention to how Photography has the capacity to capture a moment or even document a historical event.
Particularly, I’ve always been fascinated with Black and White imagery and I have noticed that recently it seems to be that Black and White photographs are making something of a comeback of late, as digital camera owners are rediscovering the beauty of monochrome images.
So what is it that makes Black and White photography so special? I did some research and here is what I found:
I view photographs as small pieces of artwork. After all, Photography is a form of Art, isn’t it? Photographs should give you the freedom to use your imagination and see whatever you want in them, in the same way that Art allows you to perceive and interpret it in your own way.
It has often been said that Black and White makes this process easier, as there are no distractions. Some may find colour a little diverting, as it takes the focus away from the subject. It has been said that especially with Portrait Photography, taking the colour out of an image, lets the subject speak for itself. It’s raw, it’s stripped back, it’s honest and it allows you to capture the soul!
Some may think that Black and White could restrict you when editing/retouching photographs. I can assure you that this is not the case. Black and white photography may sound boring, but there is such a variety of what can be achieved if you can think creatively. There are so many shades in between black and white, so effectively you are dealing with a massive range of grey shades.
Black and White photography allows you to think like an artist. When moulding clay, you have the option to shape it into a myriad of shapes. With Black and White, you can produce images that are strong, high in contrast and powerful, or soft, gentle and subtle.
Lastly, a Black and White photograph becomes timelessly memorable and is always a classic. The subtlety of tones creates images that have a surreal, almost dreamlike quality. Images that have great depth and allow the eye to notice patterns, contrast, texture and even light.