Yes, it’s true. There’s still something about a good black and white that gets me a bit excited. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a well composed and processed color image. The varying hues of red, blue, green, and yellow can be very dramatic in telling the story in many cases. Whether I shoot an image with a black and white presentation in mind, or I convert a color image to a monotone presentation, there’s just something about reducing that image to nothing but a single tone that gets to me.
A black and white image strips away all those varying color tones that can compete with, and steal away from, the essence of the subject itself. Here’s a quote that might explain my feelings a bit better.
“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”
― Ted Grant
I think this can hold true for any subject.
We all know of Ansel Adams’ mastery of black and white darkroom techniques, and his skills with composition. I’m also very fond of Edward Weston and his pioneering vision.
I won’t profess to be any sort of famous black and white shooter, but I will share a link that might give some insight into a few of the greats, and inspire you to experiment with some monotone images.
Here is the link that will give you a little insight into some of the great black and white photographers of our time.
Of course the best presentation of a black and white, or any image for that matter, is the print itself. Sadly in today’s digital instant access world, the print is a disappearing art. That’s got to be a subject for a future post.
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As always, take care and be creative
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