Learning With B/w Photography

Seeing black and white photography in old magazines and photography magazines is a magical experience. It seems to capture any moment more realistically than a color photo does. Of course light sensitive film has been far more expressive than digital, but the technology is catching up. 

with B/W photography you can learn about value, lighting, contrast, composition, texture and mood without the distractions of color. If you master this with your camera, your color photos will come out much better framed and composed. You will do less adjusting in a photoshop program. 

Taking pictures in B/W is a great way to learn how to tell a story with your shots. All the details are crystal clear and the moments are frozen in time like fossils in amber. Whether action shots or posed portrait shots, B/W photography will capture all the drama and structure that the naked eye can't see. 

Its worth learning to master this aspect of photography. 

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8 Responses Feb 9, 2010

Very worth while to learn!

My father was a professional photographer who died at the age of 78 in 1995. He had pictures, he had negatives, he had glass negatives. Most of them he took over the years. Some he bought at auctions. Some of the negatives were of famous people that he took himself : Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, politicians, etc. He had his own dark room and developed his own film and printed his own pictures. I have hung on to the negatives of these famous people because I don't want to send them off to be printed - I'm afraid they will get stolen, lost or copied. I don't know what to do with them except maybe donate them.

Printing B&W negs is not all that difficult a project. You can do it i fyou invest sometime to learn.

It seems to that photography is a question of ones point of view. Personally I like Both black & white and colour either with a film or with a numerical camera. I often find that Black & white needs a greater depth of field. With colour one can avoid distraction from the main subject by using a wider aperture to reduce the field depth. Using colour at night can give a very black & white look to a picture without any post-production. I think the question is getting the picture you saw with your mind and your eyes.

I connect to B/W photography too. I feel it brings out the ethereal beauty of life.I treasure my parents wedding photos taken in B/W. We have a life size photo of my mother In B/W and she looks breathtaking. May be I lean towards B/W as it seems to me suggesting the grim and harsh realities of life. Whenever there is a disaster or tragedy it is often shown in B/W(in the media).

I have converted some color digital images to B&W and I like them. Way back I experimented with B&W film. I think of the images from the Masters like Adams or Weston and how I do like them. I can't put my finger on it but there really is something abut a good B&W image that just feels so right.

I LOVE black & white pictures! They are my favorite <3

Most of the greats preferred black& white photography........Cartier Bresson....Bill Brandt....Me!

Black and white photography to me can capture any mood very well... <br />
with color, everything seems too distracting to tell what the photographer was trying to catpture, and the lighting is better all together. <br />
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This is a great story and I love how you said "All the details are crystal clear and the moments are frozen in time like fossils in amber"<br />
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Really makes you think about what people miss out on when something can be so simply captured in black and white.

Not just black and white photographs - depending upon the genre, black and white films are often superior because the mood is so much easier to catch than colour - the archetypes of good and evil shown in film. The lighting is a form of artistry that defies being captured in most colour shots. Don't get me wrong, colour films can be spectacular, but they are not usually as cerebral as the black and white picture. I suppose because I have always dreamed in black and white, black and white photographs and moving pictures induce in me a dream-like state far more easily than colour.