Why Black and White


In the early days of mass produced cameras and the ability to make “everyone” a photographer there was basically one choice, black and white film. You took the roll to the drugstore and in about a week you got your pictures back. We always hoped they “came out”. That term probably evolved from the experience of watching the image appear in the developer tray. When color film became prevalent and film sizes changed to fit smaller cameras the pictures were in color but often not as good as the old black and white days. There are technical reasons for this but will leave that for another time.

The most interesting story about color film was the reaction I got from photographing orphan children in the far east. They referred to color as a “life picture”. Upon further consideration I thought it was an apt description.

When you add color you are adding another design element and each thing in your frame not only has a shape and a tone but it has a color. Of course! Color adds a whole range of emotional and psychological implications that will affect our reaction to any picture we see. With black and white you have shape, tone and light. These three components offer a symphony of design options but with a little more neutral or objective possibility. Not to say there is no subjective feeling about the image but with this simplified palette we can put our own stamp on it, so to speak.

Thanks to all for reading, especially those who just signed on.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s