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.
Great set. Simply Twigs is my favourite.
I missed your pingback over at Anne’s.
Many thanks IJ
Forest Primeval caught my eye. It’s so digital! The final poet – tree is gorgeous, but so is the magnolia blossom and the sad woman emoting at the table. Every photo is lovely, Tina.
Thanks Marsha, glad these caught your eye.
Tina I just love these shots in B&W…what great examples of seeing one’s TRUE self….raw n real!!!
Thanks April, sometimes it can make or break an image!
Strikingly beautiful as always, Tina! Loved the trees, especially primeaval. And a lovely portrait.
Many thanks A-C. Like you I don’t use it often but love it for portraits
Precious black & whites, Tina. It works so well in every image, an eyeopener! In a way, black and white images appear to be more timeless than colour images. The absence of colour makes it more difficult to put an exact date on a work. The tones in your images range all the way from the blackest black to the whitest white with lots of varying grey tones in between, a true joy for us to view. Love the inspiring quotes!
Many thanks Hanne, I agree with your thoughts about B&W making an image more timeless. It’s an interesting thought when we consider how an image might persevere.
Lovly Black nd Whit pics
Many thanks Dante
Exquisite as always, otherwise I’m still out of adjectives.
😊 thanks John
Amazing images Tina
Many thanks karina
Wonderful response to the challenge, Tina. I think that in most cases, portrait photography works better in b/w and you have captured your subject splendidly in that first shot of the ship worker. All are very creative images.
Thanks Sue, I agree re portraits, B&W can be very effective
white grace and elegance Tina ji
Beautiful set of images, Tina. Simply Twigs is my favourite.
Thank you Khurt, sometimes simple works best 😊
Thanks very much Anne, loved the challenge. Thanks again for hosting us
striking and informative-excellence in black and white surpassing all colors. Hope all is well Dear Tina..Stay safe Stay Happy.May peace be with you aameen.
Thanks very much AWD and you be safe and happy also
Wow, you have some great examples of how fantastic B&W shots can be! I love Tristesse, the twigs and the willow tree in particular, but all are excellent 🙂
Thanks so much Sarah, glad you enjoyed these
I love these gallery Tina..especially the woman frowning and the last shot of the Tree. Exquisite captures, holds many emotions in the eyes.
Thanks so much for the lovely comment
Black and white photos seem more serious than color shots. They require more thought. That magnolia would be gorgeous in any light.
A very interesting perspective Judy. Many thanks
Oh, that magnolia blossom. Makes my heart sing. They are so elegant anyway, but yours is open for viewing and quite dramatic in black and white. As always, you’ve not only met the challenge, you’ve exceeded it!
Thanks Rusha, I agree they really are elegant blossoms. A perfect description
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All of these look great in monotone but I am particularly drawn to the simplicity of the twigs
Thanks Nora, sometimes simple can be very effective
Well done, enjoyed each of the images that bring a certain contemplative quality in monochrome.
Many thanks Sally
Black and white can be so much more emotional, as you have shown in your examples. I especially love the magnolia. I cannot believe it took me this long to learn that flowers in monochrome have their own special beauty.
LOL thanks John. Magnolias don’t have much color to start with so they’re a wonderful subject for B&W
A beautiful series and exploration Tina, the crispness in the magnolia bloom image is amazing 💛
Thank you Xenia, they’re beautiful flowers
A remarkable black and white series, Tina. Each image tell its story beautifully. I really like the pan shot!
Thanks Amy, I often use panning with forests, it creates some interesting effects
Tina, it’s hard to choose a favorite from these images. They all express emotion and drama beautifully.
Thanks Beth, glad you enjoyed these
Nice post, Tina. The photo of the ship worker is very striking.
Thanks Jane, that one really called for B&W IMHO
I LOVE that Forest Primeval!
Many thanks Sue
Top! I also have some magnolia blossoms in black and white. I like it especially when the blossoms are backlit. For me, the minimalistic twigs are outstanding. 👍
Thanks so much Andre, glad you appreciated that one. Sometimes simple can be very effective
yep, definitely 😊
Tina, I knew none of this about black and white photography until reading your explanation. Your photos perfectly convey the truth in that explanation. Perhaps I’ve known it some intuitive sort of way or maybe I just know what I like. And I like, really love, your photos, Tina. They invite you to feel. The portrait is pure emotion. Wonderful.
Many thanks Tracy, your comment really meant a lot to me
I try to learn from your pictures and explanations and marvel that you can see the possibilities in a scene , but still black and white eludes me, unless it is that time of day naturally. I have tried before with sone success, but only with great effort
That is a lovely compliment, thanks so much Appeltjie
Magnolia’s are not easy to photography, but I love your B&W image, Tina
Thanks Cornelia, they’re a great subject for B&W
Tina I agree with you on the top photo, it makes me feel emotional about her exhaustion! The magnolia, that’s my other favorite, it is beautiful!! It kind of looks like a painting. 🖤🤍
Thanks Lisa – the very different ways to use B&W
The simply twigs had a great minimal vibe
And enjoyed the magnolia – we had them here too (VA) and I like how you mentioned their aroma too.
Magnolias are very popular down south Yvette. Their aroma is gorgeous!
Tina these black and white images are so beautiful and artistic. This first photo is touching.. Happy Monday Anita
Many thanks Anita
Love the quote about B&W being interpretative. Love the flower, but the opening pic is very moving as I felt an emotion looking at it.
Thanks Frank -that’s the best a photographer can hope for, don’t you think?
The worker is a haunting photo. And the magnolia is so beautiful. I do not do much in black and white either but your photos are great examples of how effective it can be.
Thanks Anne. Like you, I don’t use it much but it can indeed be a very effective tool
So good Tina 😀😀
Much appreciated Brian
The first image…the contrast is amazing. The starkness of the B&W Plus the affect of the subject evokes an emotional response. The magnolia is beautiful.
Thanks very much Brenda, glad those caught your eye
hi tina, i agree with Bob Snell’s opinion, wonderful photos that you have chosen for the challenge theme, I particularly like the 1st picture.
many greetings robert
Thanks very much Robert
The photo of the ship’s worker makes me want to give her a hug.
Honestly Sharon, she really needed one
Black and white really transforms vertical pan into a wonderful abstract. Very cool!! 💕
Thanks Kathy, they’re always interesting to play with
I think you’ve outdone yourself, Tina. These are all extraordinary proving that black and white images evoke a range of unexpected emotions. The portrait is stunning and beautifully captured. The abstract tree (2nd image) is exactly the idea I’m wanting for a mural wall in my living room. Excellent, Tina!
Many thanks Terri, it interesting how even a simple abstract can have a lot to say😊
Thanks Sandy, a beautiful subject
Tina, these are extraordinary images and it’s not just your portrait full of expression and emotion, but all of them!
Many thanks Marina, glad these struck a chord for you
Very much, my dear Tina. Thank YOU!
Oh Tina, you took my challenge and ran away with it! Exquisite images and quotes to explain the depth of black and white photography. All are my favorites!
The photo of the exhausted worker really was so expressive…black and white, for me, brings things into a more thoughtful focus, maybe a bit depressing, I think.
Maybe so Laurel, glad the emotion came they fir you
I have always loved your black and whites…. so expressive..a whole different feel and emotion!
Thanks GF, I think so too
Tina, that first photo is so poignant but I love what you did with the second shot and the forest. Yes, I like that last one a lot, too, but I really love that second one. (A few minutes later.) As I look over them all again, that last one is grabbing me more and more. 🙂
Thanks Janet-love that you gave them serious thought!