Iron railroad bridge in Friaul, Italy in winter

Black & White
Nostalgic and artistic photography

I am not sure why it is that most of us still love black & white photography but it is a fact that we do. I can come up with multiple reasons why people are still so into these “colorless” images. The simplicity of a black & white would only be one of them. Black & white photos are still associated with the “old days” and therefore also treasured for nostalgia reasons. Serious photographers express themselves often also with black & white images, the use it as a very attractive form of art. There is a huge “Black & White” community out there. Incredible images are being produced in black and white every day from people who love black & white photography and leave color out by choice. Check out: – “ 100+ Awe Inspiring black & white Photographs ”. 

Walking down memory lane – Black and White photos make me travel back in time
I love black & white photos. When they were shot in perfect light and have really cool whites mixed with deep blacks I even adore black & white photos. I have to admit that most of the time they even suck me in and make me walk down memory lane. It doesn’t matter if it is a digital black & white on a screen or a printout, I instantly remember my days as an editor and press photographer and the countless hours I had spent every night in my cold darkroom down in my basement, developing negatives and exposing prints. In spite of the amount of work and the very long hours I had to invest, I never lost the excitement and love for this kind of photos. I treasured every single black & white photo I had taken and which left my darkroom. Not because I felt it was another job well done, I just loved what I had done with only Black and White. Overexposing a print or underexposing it gave the photo a totally different statement and of course made it stand out. The kindest person in a portrait seemed to be a “hard soul” after I had put a lot of contrast, blacks and whites on it. I can say without shame, I fell in love with black & white during my hours in the darkroom. Knowing what it takes to literally create a print out after I had taken a shot, handling all the chemicals and experimenting with exposing times made me appreciate every single photo coming out of my darkroom. My love for black & white photos was born then and it lasted until today. Even though post-production has drastically changed, all sentiments aside and I am more than happy not having to stand hours and hours in a dark and cold basement room any longer, I’m having the same fun with them, maybe even more.

Great role models showed us how it’s done
When thinking about black & white photography, the famous photographers from the earlier days, Ansel Adams (1902 — 1984) or Elliot Erwitt (1928) come to mind. Their photos show everything you would want to see in an image. So much creativity and excellence every step of the way. What an inspiration these guys were and still are today. Photographers around the globe use black & white photography today by choice and not because they would have to, to express their way of seeing things. black & white is found in every field of photography, so in wedding photography, in artistic portraits, nude photography, industrial photography and in street photography to name only a few.

Think black & white before you shoot, not after
Black & white can be very “colorful”. All the shades of grey, the hard contrasts or the softness of the light, you just need to work with what you’ve got. Converting a digital color photo on a computer into a black & white image does not necessarily give you a great image and you won’t “wow” anyone with it. black & white has its own rules and needs very much attention to the details. So just pressing the “convert-to-B&W” button within your software does not make you a great B&W photographer – but it can be a beginning. You have to look at a motive and think about how to shoot it in black & white; you have to consider the light and the shades. The angle is important also. Do I start out with dark on the bottom or on top? Questions you have to ask and answer before you shoot. Because later on, it’s too late. Once you’re addicted to the beauty of black & white photos you will start to create images in B&W long before you release the shutter.
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