If only life were black and white. If only things were binary: right and wrong, left or right, ethical or unethical. Things would be simple. You wouldn’t have to navigate a life that twists and turns. If only we could say “This is wrong! There is no other option”. If only we didn’t have to acknowledge internationalism, or strike the perfect balance between selfishness and benevolence, or acknowledge that there are usually more than two sides to a story. Life would be simpler.
Since I can’t change the shades of grey in life (which I have to admit makes life exciting), I choose to capture photographs in black and white.
Why do I love Black and White Photography?
I am quite fond of black and white photography for a few reasons
1. Black and White Banishes Distractions
Colour is probably one of the biggest distractions in a photograph. The focus of a shot could be a couple on the park bench, but beautiful cherry blossoms in the background can distract the eye.
2. The Subject is the Star!
Since colour is out of the picture (lol) the focus is on the subject.
When the subject is the star you can get a FEEL for the picture. What was that person thinking? What is the emotion that is trying to be captured in this photograph? Those are all questions that tend to be asked when looking at a photograph that is captured in black and white.
3. Black and White Photography is Classic
There is something fresh, yet classic, about black and white photography. Since cameras have been produced, people have been shooting in black and white. These days we are bombarded with colour and colour classifications: RGB, hexadecimal, 216 web-safe color palettes, true colours, etc. When something is black and white it is simple. Simplicity is classic.
4. Focus on Light
Shooting photographs in black and white forces you to take lighting into consideration. I think this can make you a better photographer when it comes to shooting in colour as well. You have to ask yourself about the right amount of light, angles of light, whether or not you want a back-lit photo. All these things force you to think and thinking is good.
Those are the reasons I love black and white photography. What do you think?