About black and white photography. The chosen.
I remember the words of the famous American photographer, Steve McCurry, in response to the question why he took photos just in color, he answered simply: the world is in color because I should see it in black and white. There followed a series of considerations that the Photography was born in monochrome, yes, but only because originally there were technical limitations, once these were overcome, there would not have to be the need to shoot in black and white yet. Well, I think this is a very superficial analysis, I believe that there are other reasons why you get closer to black and white.
Ansel Adams, Cartier Bresson, Sebastião Salgado, Peter Lindbergh, Herb Ritts, Irving Penn, Daido Moriyama, Sally Mann, Avedon, Paolo Pellegrin, Sobol, Michael Ackermann and the list could be much, much longer, are some of the photographers who have chosen to ‘see’ in black and white and have found this, a creative form and personal style.
Most of the discussions that arise on social, ask the question whether ‘this shot is better in color or black and white’, you rarely feel the need to ask ‘why’ you decide to desaturate a particular picture. You should not shoot in color and then subsequently evaluate whether that picture is more powerful in black and white, but already in your mind, the photo should be born black and white. See in black and white forces your mind to focus on different things, your eyes wide of different scenes. It ‘a new and over time approach, if your view is monochromatic, even the way you shoot will adapt by focusing on independent parameters by color.
The color may be an element of distraction, or it can be in the binding composition. In black and white you can concentrate more on composition, on the interaction between subjects, it is not so important if the main light is artificial or natural, if it is the ‘warmth’ of sunset or that ‘aggressiveness’ of late morning.
Sometimes the absence of color allows you to enjoy more of any emotions that may arise by one click. There are no color elements of distraction and you feel more involved with the subject.
Another important reason people want to shoot in black and white today is because it lends a certain timeless quality to the images. This is because we still think of black and white as being a throwback to the photographic past. Black and white can also work well with many elements in it as the eye focus more on the interactions between subjects. The negative spaces, – the presence of important black or white areas around the main subject – helping to direct the viewer’s attention towards it. It ‘much more complex to get these results with color. Only great photographers like Alex Webb, David Alan Harvey, and Harry Gruyard succeeded.
It doesn’t matter what race, color or background you happen to be – black and white photography provides a wonderful tonal range between the deepest blacks and the whitest whites. Garishly colorful makeup is no longer distracting. Pigments, discoloration and distracting elements of the skin can become less obvious. Important examples you have in the photographs of the bodies of Mapplethorpe or the fashion of Helmut Newton or Peter Lindbergh. Of course, a photograph in black and white must be strong for the content if you’re in front of a banal shot, the colors of a sunset to help you as a visual anchor.
Although my photography is always in color, I’m getting close to black and white, but on tiptoe, with respect. Before I started to use in my social reportage and even now in ‘my’ marriages trying to observe more closely the scene than trying to undo the colors. It is not a trivial thing because my visual instinct is in full color and it happens that does not take a picture because I do not see the color balance that makes me consider an interesting scene. But then I try to observe what is happening, to look at the relationships between the entities in actions under way focusing my attention on the movements, the gestures, on looks and not on the aesthetics of the colors. Here slowly this approach is taking me to explore new worlds and to push the boundaries of my photography.
I think I will always be a color photographer, but who knows this experience fascinates me and I do not put limits on my research not only in wedding photography.
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