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Black and White

Black and White are opposite colours coexisting with each other creating a beautiful picture made on a light-sensitive canvas.

In this post, I won't write about colour photography, rather, I will see and describe everything in black and white.
We know that photography or cinematography came first in black and white, then white "color" broke down into different colours based on Green, Red and Blue space for example, giving pictures more life, however, making photos in black and white only, it is not outdated or legacy, it's a whole section in nowadays photography.
The contrast in this combination B&W, makes it easy to standout subjects in the frame, therefore quicker to deliver the information to the viewer's eye.
In the following examples, I describe how I perceive some scenes in black and white, before making these photos, or even before point out my camera, I check the whole environment. Are colours important in this scene?
Does the background fit my subject?
Is my subject protected from shadows or highlight?
Can black and white add some drama to my photograph?
White on Black
In this photograph, there was a white duck in the river, the river was a kind of green with trees shadows, it is almost black.
Making this photo in colours, wouldn't stand out the white duck as in black and white, therefore I have shot in colours to keep all the details, but my intention is to turn it into a black and white photograph.

Bird | wide image
Birds, Niort 2020

Black on White
Vice versa, we can also standout the black from white as this example, I spotted this white wall and had to wait for someone with darker clothes to walk beside, editing further this photograph makes it as a graffiti painting on the wall.

umbrella silhouette | wide image

Color is a distraction

Sometimes colors are distracting from focusing on the main subject, for instance, in the following photograph, colors have no added value to the subject, the grayscale helps to draw the viewer attention quickly without processing the color details in the background or the subject itself.

couple under rain | full image
couple under rain , Niort 2020
Personally, I find black and white is the soul of the picture, the rest is a feature, however if the color can provide a useful information or story, then it becomes an important part of the photograph.

Surely, we see and analyse our daily life in colors, nevertheless, photographs are not reality, but a projection of it, they are a way of expressing our feelings, therefore, we are free to draw our pictures in black and white or a palette of colors.


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