Lens-Artists Challenge #156 – Black & White
“Black and white photography does more to evoke an emotion and freeze a moment in time than any other medium”Bob Snell
This week our guest host, Anne Sandler, has invited us to share images in Black and White. Among other things, I find B&W particularly well-suited to portraying emotions in portrait photography. Dramatic lighting is much more visible and provides a way for the photographer to focus the viewer’s attention exactly as he or she chooses. The image above was a candid capture of an exhausted ship’s worker as she stole a rare moment of peace and quiet. In Black & White her exhaustion comes shining through.
“To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black & white is a delight for the soul.”Andri Cauldwell
For many, B&W is the purist’s way of looking at the world. While it is not something I use frequently, I find it can deliver opportunities for taking a more artistic approach which strips the subject of any distractions and allows its beauty to come through in its simplicity.
“The world may be color, but Black & White transcends it.”Abbas Attar
There are times when nothing can portray the purity of Mother Nature’s work better than the use of Black & White. Here in the south we are blessed with weeks of glorious magnolias everywhere we look. They draw the eye to their beauty and the nose to their sweet bouquet. For me, B&W strips them down to their essence and presents them in a way that allows their details to draw the viewer into the image.
“Black and White are the colours of photography.”Robert Frank
I captured the scene above in camera using a vertical pan. While I liked the image in color, to me the conversion to Black & White took it to a more artistic place. The trees took on a rather ominous feel – conjuring thoughts of frightening creatures lurking beyond. Sometimes if we strip an image of its color we allow the viewer to form their own impressions of a scene rather than dictate their reactions.
“Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.”Elliott Erwitt
If we compare the tree above to the one that immediately precedes it, we see that the use of B&W allows the photographer to better portray a sense of emotion in a scene. We move from dark and ominous to light and fanciful simply by the use of the many elements of shading and light available in Black & White. At least, that’s my impression….what’s yours?!
Thanks to Anne for giving us an opportunity to explore our world in Black & White – we look forward to seeing your interpretations. Please remember to use the Lens-Artists Tag and to link them to Anne’s original post here. We also thank you for your responses to John’s “On the Water” challenge last week; a fun thought for those of us enjoying some lazy summer days. Finally, please join us next week when Rusha leads us with her “Getting Away” challenge. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.