Black And White Pictures


Black and white photography was invented in around the 1835. It stayed with us for over one hundred years. Then, in 1936, the invention of Kodachrome gave the world color photography. Interestingly, black and white photography didn’t die off as many predicted. In fact, it flourished. Like any creation, photography is an art form and many photographers consider modern black and white photography to be the purest form of photography.

If you are not a photographer and are unfamiliar with the workings of photographic development, it may be a mystery as to why black and white photography commands such acclaim. One reason is due to the fact that color can be a real distraction depending on the subject matter. Photographers feel color takes attention away from the visual building blocks of a great photo.

Photographers are artists and as such, they are seeing a composition in their minds as they line up the lens. Paintings to the same thing when they pick up a brush. A photographer will look at the subject and want to see the texture, tonal contrast, shape and form of it. They want to capture how the light plays. A photographer is considering all these elements as they are shooting a subject.

Another reason why color photography is not as revered as it once was is because there is so much of it around. Black and white pictures make a refreshing change to the saturated color photography market. For many photographers and artists a color picture represents reality and a black and white picture represents an interpretation of a reality. This is a big different in the world of art.

It’s important to understand that not all subjects are suitable for black and white. There are certain types of photos that rely on color for impact. For example, you never see a picture of a model walking down the runway except in a vivid color picture. Even if she is wearing black and white.

Subjects made for a black and white photograph are basically anything that has seen a lot of wear and tear over the years. Imagine the wall of an old building, or rusty metal, or weathered wood in varying tones of gray. Anything old normally has lots of texture, and textures look great in black and white. We live in a world of color, but when colors are converted to black and white, they become shades of gray. Light colors become highlights, and dark colors become dark tones. The differences between these shades is known as tonal contrast.

Shape and form are two very important visual elements for art and every object has both shape and form. Shape is how the subject looks in two dimensions. Form is how the subject looks in three dimensions. Photos are two dimensional, and like painters, photographers have the challenge of depicting three dimensional objects in two dimensional form.

Black and white is a very effective medium for landscape photography. It draws attention to the shapes and forms of the components within the landscape, and the quality of light. However, direct sunlight in the middle of the day creates harsh shadows. Light is also a huge component in black and white pictures. Start your collection today!

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