- February 27, 2020
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When it comes to black and white photography, it has different views. Some people believe it was a technical limitation of the past that you need to get over and move on while others see it as a creative choice that needs to be explored in great depths.
Camera technology is getting better day in day out, in these days and age, hmmm! Who would go for black and white photography?
Five reasons to go for black and white photos.
1. B&W Helps you see differently
Long ago, photographers used black and white because they didn’t have another choice. Even after the introduction of color to color the world, there was still pursuance of black and white. Monochrome was used and still being used by some people where the picture is seen in its purest form.
When you remove color, the emphasis shifts to the other compositional elements of the image; these include lines, shape and texture, contrasts, and tones. With this in mind, it is evident that not all photos will translate well to black and white. So, look at all the elements and deduce what else you have to work with, besides color.
Many times black and white helps you develop a different perspective from what you are used to seeing, which nurtures your photographic eye.
2. B&W Eliminates distractions
You are used to seeing the world in color, and there nothing is wrong with that view. Sometimes this contributes to other elements or details being lost or taken for granted. Some of the features highlighted before required for a great photo include contrast, texture, lighting, shape, and form.
Monochromatic imagery makes one focus on form, shape, and texture while composing. If your emphasis is on making colors work together, these elements are, at times, overlooked. With black and white, distracting colors now translated into shades of gray that add to your image.
3. B&W Offers a creative choice
Since your world is in color, it is safe to say that color photography depicts reality and is more realistic. Thus, black and white photography is viewed as a rendition of reality – or how you interpret what you see.
When you remove color, you not only isolate the different elements, you are compelled to find how they relate to each other. These help you explore and create different ways to tell your story.
When you take away color, you remove what your viewer is used to seeing. Now you are charged with finding the stronger elements stronger in the scene and figuring out how to use them to convey what you want to depict.
4. B &W Adds emotion or mood
Rich blacks and deep contrasts appeal to us psychologically. It creates a connection that makes you stop and pay attention to what is being presented. Many photographers use black and white for storytelling in travel and street photography, as well as when portraying religious or cultural activities. Monochrome, in some genres, connects, enhances, and strengthens emotions and mood.
Black and white photography adds what we see as a timeless quality to your images. The photos seem to transcend reality and take you back to bygone days. Historically there were color schemes that were specific to types of film or trends in digital photography that can date your image. By removing the color, one can’t tell or figure out when a particular photo was taken or produced.
You no longer have to worry about black and white because current camera technology allows you to try this on the spot and see if it works. Some photographers prefer to shoot in black and white, others prefer to shoot in color and then convert the pictures to black and white to get a different or better tonal range.
While black and white photography still has an essential role in photos, please note that not all subjects translate well to this mode. Even though a persuasive composition is not color-dependent, sometimes the power of the picture is its color. That is why it is good to know when to use black and white.