When I started my photography journey, all of my work was in colour- bright, rich, bold, and often distracting colours. In time, I discovered the magical powers of transformation with Black & White. Sometimes, by removing the colour, the true potential of an image emerged, creating a moody depiction of a window in time.
Now, not all photos are meant to be in Black & White. How do I decide which ones should be?
Here are 3 examples of when to choose Black & White:
1. Display interesting light and shadow
Light and shadow add so much to the narrative of a photograph. They become
characters in the story you are telling. When it comes to enhancing contrasts in light, colour images rarely compete at the same level. Embrace challenging bright light situations and the beauty they can create!
2. Focus on emotions
Black & White photography is perfect for images filled with emotions. By removing
colour, the viewer is pulled straight into the naked emotion in your photo without being distracted for example by the subject's clothes or blemishes on their skin.
When you are open to these moments and capture them as they happen, you can create a timeless image that portrays what life is all about. In the photos below, joy, surprise, closeness, amusement and wonder are displayed front and center. Do you see it?
3. Remove distractions
Colour can add much to your image; it can also detract from your message. Removing distractions helps to keep focus on your subject, as well as to emphasize
your composition. Lines, textures and symmetry pop in Black & White. In the first image below, the area was filled with mismatched construction materials. At first, all I could see was "noise." A simple switch into Black & White and not only did distractions melt away, I had achieved the image I had envisioned. Try to see beyond colour.
I hope you found these examples helpful. Is Black and White photography for you?
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