BLACK AND WHITE OR COLOR?

As I read from other photographers about whether they should make a photo black and white or color, I think that maybe they overdo it a bit in the black and white option.

To me, black and white is not something that looks good as an everyday photo. I love to take pictures of old barns, or something that looks old, and make it look black and white. The two photos above are a perfect example. I found this old run down farm yard in a very old town, and created it both ways. And to me, this is a perfect example of what should be in black and white.

However, referring back to some of the photos that have won the annual “ART OF BLACK AND WHITE” Series (see: https://123photogo.com/gallery-end-of-2020/ ) there are many photos that qualify for black and white, IF done with the right amount of contrast and feeling.

This is one of those photos in the Gallery on my main page here. And notice the mood of the photo.

Here is how I feel you could or should do a black and white photo over color: IF IT LOOKS BETTER IN BLACK AND WHITE, THEN DO IT. IF IT LOOKS AS GOOD IN BLACK AND WHITE AS COLOR, THEN DO IT, AND LET THE VIEWERS DECIDE WHICH ONE THEY WANT TO PAY FOR.

I found another photographer on YouTube that talks about color vs. black and white. Please watch this video and then give me your feedback below.

A great video about “black and white vs. color”

NEW WEBSITE AFFILIATED WITH 123PHOTOGO: https://lannycottrellphotography.com/

THE “ART OF BLACK AND WHITE” series 7

Photo by Joren Aranas on Unsplash – This photo was found on the free photo website: “Unsplash” where photographers share their photos and just looking for some recognition. I am glad to recognize this amazing black and white photo.
Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash — What makes this photo so amazing, is that we have all see something like this in color. But, in black and white, it’s even more dramatic. How perfect the exposure is as well. Shows off what light there is very well.
Photo by Jack Chamberlin —- Jack is one of my favorite photographers. On Facebook, he is always putting on some amazing black and white photos. Interesting enough is that he uses infrared technology to create the black and whites that he does. The contrast that infrared puts out is amazing, but, Jack has truly made this an art. He is one that you could follow on Facebook. Just go to: https://www.facebook.com/jack.chamberlin.10
This is another amazing photo from Jack Chamberlin. He titles this photo “Dragon Landings”. I love the sepia tone he put to this photo, and it makes the cut to be in our annual exhibit.
Photo by Andrew Whitmore —– To get some really sharp black and white photos, you certainly can’t go wrong with photos of architecture. Actually, I went through a lot of architectural photos before I selected one, and this one from Andrew Whitmore one best black and white architectural photo.
Photo by Drew Hays —— I don’t normally pick many portraits as a great black and white photo, but, there were a lot of portraits this time that are just winning black and white portraits. The exposure, the use of light, all that is what makes this photo a great photo / portrait.

In case you missed it, I did an article titled: “Reasons to Try Black and White”. If you haven’t taken any or only a few black and white photos, go to: https://wordpress.com/post/123photogo.com/26109 and read this great article about black and white making a big comeback, and why.

Photo by Everton Vila – With this dark background and the white wedding dress, this seemed to be a natural to be a great black and white photo. No face showing with this, just a beautiful dress, and accentuated with the dark background. Truly a winning photo.
Photo by Geran De Kler for Unsplash —- As I looked at this photo, I actually had a hard time seeing this in color. It’s like the cat just came out of the dark to come and attack you. What a great photos of a battle-torn leopard.
Photo by Gian D – How dare I take a flower and award it as a winner in a black and white exhibit. Yup! I did it. The fun thing about this photo is that it is just starkly beautiful without color, and now it leaves you guessing what color it is.
Photo by Gift Habeshaw —– Here is another portrait, and I think it is actually a self portrait, I could be wrong, but, I was impressed with how careful he was with the lighting. And especially to highlight the hair like he did, truly makes this a great portrait / black and white winning photo.
Photo by Glen Carrie — We have had a few real dark photos above, and now this one that comes out really light. This is one of those photos that does amazingly well with “negative space”. I think this is just a classy photo and I can see this one hanging on a wall.

Want to see last years winning black and white photos? I have a special page we post these winning photos for 1 year. So, these photos are about to be taken down from the main menu page. But, until January 15th, 2022, these photos will be on display, and then removed so these photos will go in it’s place. Go to: https://123photogo.com/gallery-end-of-2020/ to see more amazing black and white photos.

Photo by Jakub Kolesa – from Unsplash —— Winter can be such a great time to do black and white photos. The snow white covering and the dark wood on the trees, makes it an easy job. Love the composition on this photo. The fog and mist makes it even a better photo.
Photo by Joakim Honkasalo – When we get into the night photos, capturing the light is an amazing way to make it happen. This is called “Seeing the light” or “seeing the Art”. Well done photo. By the way, if this was taken with color, the lighting would have a real weird color. Black and white was definitely the choice here.
Photo by Jorge Salvador – —- – Another great photo of a tree with the mist or fog in the background. It just tends to blur out the background so nicely that it makes the tree look like it’s having a portrait done.
Photo by Nathan Duimeo —– I didn’t see a title to this photo, but, I would probably title it: “Working Hands”. And with this being in black and white, makes these hands look more dirty, more worn, etc. Black and white makes this photo work so well. Perfect choice to do this in black and white.

Did you know that black and white is becoming so popular that there are 2 camera manufactures making a camera that strictly shoots in black and white? You have to read about this: go to: https://wordpress.com/post/123photogo.com/26521

Photo by Paolo Aguilar – For Unsplash —– I don’t know if this photo was taken a hundred years ago or just recently. And that is the beauty of this photo. To recreate a photo just like it was a hundred years ago, when all there was, was black and white. A beautiful portrait of a newlywed couple, this photo does amazingly well for creating the perfect black and white photo.
Photo by Shahin Kahalji —– This photo was my first pick to go in this gallery today. The exposure on this photo was so perfect. A lot of times when photos of people are done in black and white, their skin tones are white. And this one has a beautiful gray tone in which to give it the look of a perfect exposure. So, this is one amazing portrait.
Photo by Simon Lohmann —– I don’t know where this is, but, it is some amazing architecture of some place that has amazing shaped buildings. And that makes it look so good this way. A mighty nice capture of abstract shapes.
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BLACK & WHITE MAKES HEADLINES

BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY IS AN ART FORM THAT SEEMS TO BE THRIVING IN THE PHOTOGRAPHIC WORLD

Next week, the week of December 5th, this website (123photogo) presents it’s annual “THE ART OF BLACK AND WHITE – VOLUME 7”. This presentation is a collection of some of the best black and white photos I have found recently on the internet. There is some great talent in black and white photography, so, it’s only fitting we highlight those photographers.

RICOH (PENTAX) CHALLENGES LEICA TO A BLACK AND WHITE CAMERA ONLY.

From Digital Camera world, comes this new information:

Ricoh could be set to challenge Leica with a monochrome-only K-3 Mark III, and another designed solely for astrophotography.

It might seem strange to release a black-and-white version of the Pentax K-III, which would on paper appear to challenge cameras like the Leica M-10 monochrome, but an astrophotography version also would be fun.

The news comes from a report by Digital Camera Info, keeping track of several different online events that were held recently by Ricoh Imaging in Japan. The report shows that the Japanese outlet Ten Riff had been tweeting updates mentioned in Ricoh’s Pentax Meeting Online 2021.

A MONOCHROME SENSOR?

It was supposedly announced in the online meeting that Ricoh is “considering a derivative model of the K-3 Mark III equipped with a monochrome sensor… K-3 Mark III Monochrome: uses a monochrome sensor without a color bayer filter… Achieves natural resolution and noise-like image quality without bayer complementation”.

LEICA M-10 MONOCHROM

The Leica M10 Monochrom opens the door to a new dimension of black-and-white photography. Equipped with a newly developed image sensor, the camera delivers an extremely high-quality rendition with breathtaking detail resolution.

The absence of a color filter array and exceedingly high sensor resolution of 40 megapixels result in an unprecedented depiction of even the finest details, along with an exceptionally natural-looking sharpness.

This information is courtesy of DIGITAL CAMERA WORLD, My source for all the latest information in photography.
Information about the new Leica m-10 monochrome, is from Leica.com

DON’T MISS: “THE ART OF BLACK AND WHITE – SERIES 7, COMING NEXT WEEK! THE BEST BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS EVER.

REASONS TO TRY BLACK AND WHITE:

grayscale photo of girl in black shirt
Photo by Elizaveta Dushechkina on Pexels.com

Have you ever thought about doing BLACK AND WHITE? Don’t you think it’s interesting that the best photographers are almost always doing some black and white along with their color?

The one reason, I can think of is that for some reason, black and white has remained something artistic in the art world. Getting a good black and white photo is actually harder than some color. Getting the contrast just right, the proper exposure, etc. is all part of doing good black and white photos.

Let’s look at some reasons why you should try black and white:

1. Black and white helps you see differently:

First of all, black and white has been around a long time. And the interesting thing is that once Kodachrome came into place, many photographers still preferred shooting in black and white. Even the famous photographers, like Ansel Adams, shot black and white almost exclusively.

Ansel Adams shot black and white and did it because he had to think about different things with black and white.

One reason is that black and white presents interesting creative problems. The world looks different in black and white, which means that you can think about tone, texture, and light in new ways. In fact, when you remove color, the emphasis of an image naturally shifts to other compositional elements.

For some photographers, this can feel freeing; you’re no longer stuck thinking constantly about color but can instead focus on the more fundamental aspects of photography: tone and light.

To see the most amazing collection of today’s best photographers, 123PhotoGo, has a website with a gallery of just “black and white” photos. To see the artistic side of black and white, go to: https://123photogo.com/gallery-end-of-2020/

As you’re probably aware, not all great color images will translate well to black and white. But the inverse is also true: certain images that look great and black and white won’t look good in color, which means that you’ll have a whole new set of photo opportunities to contemplate.

monochrome photo of desert
Photo by Dave Drost on Pexels.com

Ultimately, this emphasis on tone and light over colorful hues will help you see the world differently – and may even result in a brand-new photographic style.

2- YOU ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS WITH BLACK AND WHITE:

Color itself can take away emphasis on contrast, texture, lighting, shape, and form. If you’re photographing a weathered man with a face full of wrinkles, black and white will highlight the texture of the wrinkles, the intensity of the man’s age. Whereas color will simply distract the viewer and prevent them from seeing what the photo is all about.

Black and white will also eliminate those funny color casts that often occur on some color photos. You just don’t get distracted by those issues.

3- BLACK AND WHITE OFFERS SOME NEW CREATIVE CHOICES:

grayscale photo of a polar bear cub
Photo by Robert Anthony Carbone on Pexels.com

Since the world is in color, it is safe to say that color photography is more realistic and descriptive. A color photo depicts the world as it really is – whereas black and white photos only show a version of reality, one that seems more interpretive and creative.

In a sense, this can help you break free from certain restraints. Without color, you don’t have to show the world as it is; instead, you can show what you see, which might involve unusual relationships, interesting shadows, beautiful textures, and so on.

Ultimately, when you take away color, you remove what your viewer is used to seeing. Suddenly, you have to capture the viewer’s attention without the help of color – which also means that you’re free to have fun, experiment, and show the world in a completely new, creative way.

So in a way, black and white forces you to think, but it makes you more creative in the process.

greyscale photography of woman holding umbrella
Photo by Kha Ruxury on Pexels.com

4- Black and white adds emotion and mood to the photo:

Take a look at the photos used in this blog so far. Do you have any sense of emotion or mood? Do you feel anything when you look at these photos?

Personally, I think black and white photos almost always create a wonderful mood – or in cases where the mood is already present, the B&W conversion makes it even more intense.

Why does black and white photography go hand in hand with moodiness? I’m not completely sure, but something about tonal range, rich blacks, and deep contrast just appeals to us psychologically. It creates an emotional connection, and it makes you stop, look around, and pay attention.

Photo by Artemios Karavas / The Art of Black and White

5- BLACK AND WHITE FEELS TIMELESS

Here’s a common reason why photographers shoot in black and white:

It adds a timelessness to your images.

For one, black and white photography has existed since the beginnings of photography, which means that a black and white image cannot instantly be dated. Also, color schemes change over time, especially in clothing, business logos, cars, and architecture. Therefore, a color image will often include datable elements – but in black and white, these features may be much harder to place.

Personally, I feel that black and white photos seem to transcend reality. Look at the image below. Can you tell when it was taken? Is it a recent shot? Is it from 50 years ago? Or does it exist outside of time?

That’s the power of black and white!

CONCLUSION:

Now that you’ve finished this article, you’re hopefully convinced that black and white is worth trying.

To get started, switch your camera over to its Monochrome mode. Spend time experimenting with black and white. Learn to see with new eyes!

To see the most amazing collection of today’s best photographers, 123PhotoGo, has a website with a gallery of just “black and white” photos. To see the artistic side of black and white, go to: https://123photogo.com/gallery-end-of-2020/

Much of this article was written originally by: Nisha Ramroop

Looking for a specific photographic subject. Check this out:

SHOOT BLACK AND WHITE TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo by Javant Kulkarni / The Art of Black and White

Have you ever done black and white photos? Do you think that there is a place for black and white in your repertoire? Are you not sure how to do black and white?

Let’s take care of all those questions and get you excited about taking black and white photos. Black and white is, what I like to call: “The true art of Photography”. Whether that is right or not, is totally up to you, but, I can take you to some black and white photos, and it would be breathtaking to see it.

The above photo is a great example of an artistic approach to black and white. And, I think there are a lot of people who would love to take a photo like that.

If you research old photography masters such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, you’ll notice they photographed primarily in black and white. Now, part of this had to do with technical limitations of the time. Until the 1930s, color photography was tough to produce. Yet even once Kodachrome, a color film, was invented, plenty of photographers stuck to black and white, simply because they preferred it to color.

Why? One reason is that black and white presents interesting creative problems. The world looks different in black and white, which means that you can think about tone, texture, and light in new ways. In fact, when you remove color, the emphasis of an image naturally shifts to other compositional elements.

For some photographers, this can feel freeing; you’re no longer stuck thinking constantly about color but can instead focus on the more fundamental aspects of photography: tone and light.

grayscale photography of woman wearing veil
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. Black and white helps you see differently

If you research old photography masters such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, you’ll notice they photographed primarily in black and white. Now, part of this had to do with technical limitations of the time. Until the 1930s, color photography was tough to produce. Yet even once Kodachrome, a color film, was invented, plenty of photographers stuck to black and white, simply because they preferred it to color.

Why? One reason is that black and white presents interesting creative problems. The world looks different in black and white, which means that you can think about tone, texture, and light in new ways. In fact, when you remove color, the emphasis of an image naturally shifts to other compositional elements.

For some photographers, this can feel freeing; you’re no longer stuck thinking constantly about color but can instead focus on the more fundamental aspects of photography: tone and light.

As I look around the internet for black and white photos, I just wish that people understood black and white better. There are far too many photographers, who take the photo in color, then convert it to black and white, without even caring about the artistic nature of black and white.

As you’re probably aware, not all great color images will translate well to black and white. But the inverse is also true: certain images that look great and black and white won’t look good in color, which means that you’ll have a whole new set of photo opportunities to contemplate.

2. Black and white eliminates distractions

Photo by Lanny Cottrell photogrpahy

The world in color is great, but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming.

Specifically, there are plenty of distractions that exist in color that simply disappear when converted to black and white.

For instance, a rainbow shirt in a color portrait may draw the eye, but is essentially unnoticeable in B&W. And a distracting red rock in the foreground of a seascape might turn a nice neutral gray following a black and white conversion.

Plus, color itself can take away emphasis on contrast, texture, lighting, shape, and form. If you’re photographing a weathered man with a face full of wrinkles, black and white will highlight the texture of the wrinkles, the intensity of the man’s age. Whereas color will simply distract the viewer and prevent them from seeing what the photo is all about.

Photo by Atilla Hangyasi (2) / The Art of Black and White

Black and white can also eliminate distracting color casts that would otherwise subtly shift the viewer’s attention away from what matters.

3. Black and white offers increased creative choice

greyscale photography of woman holding umbrella
Photo by Kha Ruxury on Pexels.com

Since the world is in color, it is safe to say that color photography is more realistic and descriptive. A color photo depicts the world as it really is – whereas black and white photos only show a version of reality, one that seems more interpretive and creative.

In a sense, this can help you break free from certain restraints. Without color, you don’t have to show the world as it is; instead, you can show what you see, which might involve unusual relationships, interesting shadows, beautiful textures, and so on.

Ultimately, when you take away color, you remove what your viewer is used to seeing. Suddenly, you have to capture the viewer’s attention without the help of color – which also means that you’re free to have fun, experiment, and show the world in a completely new, creative way.

So in a way, black and white forces you to think, but it makes you more creative in the process.

4. Black and white adds emotion and mood

two bare trees
Photo by Todd Trapani on Pexels.com

When you look at the photos that have been in this article so far, do feel a certain mood or feeling with them?

Personally, I think black and white photos almost always create a wonderful mood – or in cases where the mood is already present, the B&W conversion makes it even more intense.

Why does black and white photography go hand in hand with moodiness? I’m not completely sure, but something about tonal range, rich blacks, and deep contrast just appeals to us psychologically. It creates an emotional connection, and it makes you stop, look around, and pay attention.

5. Black and white photography feels timeless

Here’s a common reason why photographers shoot in black and white:

It adds a timelessness to your images.

For one, black and white photography has existed since the beginnings of photography, which means that a black and white image cannot instantly be dated. Also, color schemes change over time, especially in clothing, business logos, cars, and architecture. Therefore, a color image will often include datable elements – but in black and white, these features may be much harder to place.

Personally, I feel that black and white photos seem to transcend reality. Look at the image below. Can you tell when it was taken? Is it a recent shot? Is it from 50 years ago? Or does it exist outside of time?

Photo by Niko Akin / The Art of Black and White

Most of this blog today is compliments of Nisha Ramroop from the Digital Photography School.

Do you have a particular subject on photography you would like to see? Then try this amazing “search engine” and find your subject here:

TODAY’S INSPIRATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY QUOTE:

When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!

Ted Grant