Black and White Photography Introduction | Guide

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You know, there is something about black and white photography that really captivates the world. I know I am getting a little away from the overall concept of digital photography. But as a photographer, you will no doubt run into the phenomenon that is black and white photography.

I can remember quite vividly a photographer named Michael Zagaris who is the team photographer of the San Francisco 49ers. He said that he was just captivated by the use of black and white photography. The way the light and the shading juxtapose each other is so much more evident and it adds more emotion to the image. It helps narrow down exactly where you want the attention of the viewer to be taken to.

Amber C. – Personal friend fro Michigan.

Some of you may be saying to yourselves that color photography has surely taken the place of black and white photography, and I would say that for the most part, you are correct. An interesting note here is that black and white photography still holds a degree of nostalgia in most photographers, amateur and professional alike. Perhaps one reason for this nostalgia is of course that photography was first taken on a black and white film. Not only that, but many photography students are tasked with taking black and white photos when they are in their first photography classes. I never went to school for photography, but I do remember friends of mine who did go and told me all about their tasks. Only later when their photos were developed did I truly start to appreciate black and white photos.


Therefore, if you are an amateur or even experienced photographer, I would encourage you to give black and white photography a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the level of sophistication it takes to really pull off a great black and white photo. After that, you may be able to take in some advanced photos such as adding one stream of color. You may have seen these kinds of photos before when the photographer allows one color to be very evident in a black and white photo. For instance, think of this photo down below. While it is black and white, one color remains. In this case, it’s the green in the eye pupil. While simple, it adds life to the image.


As for taking the black and white photos themselves, more advanced digital cameras have gray-scale mechanisms that allow for this. Also, you can have the color picture converted by using digital photography software such as “Photoshop.” Give yourself a chance in black and white photography. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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