Why Black and White?

Started Jul 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
jbf
jbf
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Re: Why Black and White?
In reply to Bill Donnell, Jul 5, 2013

Here's an old thread that might be of interest:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50945366

and here's one of my favorite websites for B&W photography:

http://www.thespiderawards.com/gallery/7th/

The contest categories on the above site provide a good list of subjects that work well in B&W:

Abstract: B&W brings out patterns and shapes

Architecture: Color is not often a big component of architectural shots which is usually more about shapes, lines, and scale.

Nature: Sometimes color is key and can even be the main subject of a nature photograph, but other times B&W can bring out many interesting and beautiful details found in nature that would not otherwise get noticed

People: Clothing color, skin blemishes, etc. are accentuated in color which can distract from the subject's expression and personality

Sport: B&W can give sport photos grittiness and can also bring out athletic form

Still Life: Some still life images require color, but when color isn't a key element then B&W can create a timeless quality and feature the light and form in the image

Wildlife: I'm not sure why B&W works so well for wildlife, but there are many great examples to illustrate how effective it is, for example: http://www.nickbrandt.com/Category.cfm?nL=0&nS=0&nK=14260&i=196211 There's something about B&W with wildlife that creates drama.

The impact of light on B&W images should not be overlooked. Good light is critical for B&W, even more so than for color images.

jbf

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