Black and white photography can be almost magical if done properly.
Last week, I’ve mentioned how different tones of colours can create stunning black and white photography. Make sure you check out my previous blog post to learn more about black and white children portraits. Anyways, tone and having those various ranges of grey to dark black can really create a story telling image.
reminds me of something that I love
Black and white photography and the shadow play one can achieve reminds me of impressionism.
I love the impressionist era. The impressionists also used techniques, combining contrasting and complementing colours to create different shadows. My absolute favourite technique is that they never used the colour black. Did you know that?
I think it’s really fascinating and once you realize this, you’ll have your eye looking for traces of black in famous impressionist works! The only ever impressionist to use the colour black was the impressionist painter Mary Cassatt. Being a feminist, she used the colour black as an avant-garde technique to emphasize the role of women and to promote gender-equality between the sexes. Interesting, right?
Nevertheless, what the famous impressionist used to do back in Paris, is to combine the complementary colours opposite each other on the colour wheel. This was done to create darker shades that would enhance or emphasize the subject matter.
Well, no surprise here, but black and white photography also works on a similar principle. Darker tones and hues emphasize different shapes and lines in the composition of the photograph. But, that’s not the only thing that black and white photography can do.
reality or abstract? sometimes it’s hard to tell
Black and white photography inspires a lot of things. Most of all, it distances the subject of the composition from reality. You know what I mean. I am talking about the fact, that when you look and a black and white imagine, sometimes you feel like it’s more of an abstract image rather than real. This enhances the story telling feature. While we are used to seeing everything in colour, seeing something in black and white for the first time might create an entirely new thought process.
You take a moment to analyze the message conveyed in the black and white photograph, and look the hidden story inside the image.
That’s why I love black and white photography.
It adds so much depth to the composition and subject matter overall, that you might even become emotional.
Sometimes, the story that is told in the black and white photo is so beautiful and sophisticated, that it turns into a piece of art.
Meaning, people take the time to select their favourite frames and develop print outs on large canvases. Why not? If the picture has a certain edge or mystery to it, it can be perceived as a piece of art by anyone. Moreover, if you’ve got a huge loft in London with large white walls, what are you waiting for? Why not fill it up with your own art that has meaning to you!