Black and White Photography
In the early days of photography, black and white was the norm as the first photographic equipment only offered monochrome capabilities. It was only thanks to experiments and developments in photography in the late 19th century, and notably the invention of the autochrome process by Louis Lumière, that colour photography began to gain popularity.
Far from being replaced, however, black and white photography has lost none of its appeal even in the digital age. Black and white photographs can offer a timeless, striking and expressive quality, and allow the viewer to see the world in a new light.
Black and white photography is a specialisation in and of itself, given the technique and artistry required to master the medium. The art of creating images using only different shades of grey offers the opportunity to play with light and shadow, depth and contrast, shapes and textures.
In black and white photography, without the contrast created by colour, light plays a more important role and requires a different perspective. Scenes with strong or unusual lighting are often better captured when shot in black and white than scenes with a lot of colour.
Black and White Portraits
Shooting portraits in black and white requires a certain skill, and perfect mastery of lighting because it is the only tool to accentuate the subject and bring out the desired nuances in the shades of grey.
Today, black and white portraits remain popular, even if colour now dominates.
The technique is appreciated for the possibility it offers to create a completely different atmosphere and convey an emotional effect impossible to obtain in colour.
Landscapes In Black and White
In the case of landscapes as well, black and white allows the photographer to play with adjustments, contrasts, composition and textures in order to create unique visual effects.
Many landscape photos are taken in black and white, some with a mystical atmosphere, others that look like fantastic or fictional universes.
For landscapes, it is also important to play with shadows and carefully frame the photo’s composition, and it can even be interesting to experiment with inclement weather!
Whether in colour or black and white, photography offers endless possibilities for expression. Each photo is unique, and each photographer has their own personal style.
Find photographers specialised in black and white photography on Find My Photographer.
Herb Ritts - Jack Nicholson
New York - unknown
Patrick Ximenes, "Le pont dans la tourmente"