Black and white photography is showing emotions
Black and white photography isn’t only about the best tips on how to create better photographs, the most important thing is how the absence of color change the way you see the subject.
Often our eyes might take in a rich, amazing photograph, but emotionally we don’t connect to the subjects, while, without the distraction of color, looking at someone’s face or into their eyes can provide a stronger emotional connection to your subject.
However, of course, great black and white images also make good use of basic photography techniques, you have to pay attention to:
- create contrast (light and shadow become more obvious when color is absent. For example, try creating a strong contrast between darkness and light. The darker the shadows are, the brighter your light will look),
- find shape, form, patterns and textures (they tend to be more important in black and white photos. You no longer have color to lead the viewer’s eye, you need interesting curves, curious shapes, and/or great texture instead).
That’s all? Is it enough to create a powerful black and white photography? What are we missing?
How to see in black and white
Ask yourself “what do I want to communicate with my photographs?”
If you look at the picture above and try to imagine it in colors, you can notice that at the first moment you direct your attention to the little girl’s blonde hair , or to her clothes or to the green grass behind her, or even to her teddy bear. Then, of course, to what this image means to you, to what you can feel viewing this shot.
Seeing this photograph in black and white you focus your eyes and mind only to the little girl’s feeling, you start asking what happened, why she seems so sad, where are her parents, where she’s going , if she is alone, if she is in a bad mood with someone, etc.
Basically, you pay attention to her soul.
“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
The point is that, if you want to concentrate on details, then color photography is the way to go, while if your goal is to depict emotions, reflect eternity or mood, then black and white photography may become your preference and the absence of color allows concentrating on the subject without any distracting elements, the eye and mind immediately see the components, subject, mood, composition of the photo.
To me, black and white photography means to go behind the appeareances, to capture someone’s heart and emotions. It’s a very powerful and meaningful experience, that everybody could begin.
And to you? What does black and white photography means to you?
I suggest to spend some of your time to view this video about famous stars photographer Michael Zagaris has photographed capturing priceless moments.
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