Alejandra Vidal: The Emotion in Black and White

All images by Alejandra Vidal. Used with permission.

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WHAT MAKES BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY SO IMPORTANT TO YOU?

I personally love black and white; it suits any type of photography. Black and White images can be strongest and more powerful than in color, black and white captures better the emotion, & every facial expression. I think black and white images add mystery to the composition of the subject, almost just almost everything look great in mono.

 

 

 

 

Shirren Lim: The Use of Lines at City Crosswalks

All images by Shirren Lim. Provided with permission.

Photographer Shirren Lim calls Jakarta, Indonesia her home–and is where hhe started photography back in 2009. What began as an ember of habit eventually grew into a fiery passion in life. Ms. Lim labels himself as a travel photographer, and explores the mysteries of her surroundings using her camera.

Her documenting the travels has earned her exhibitions in London and Switzerland on top of being part of a group exhibition in Spain.

Websites:

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EyeEm
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Instagram

 

 

 

Michael Young: On Emotional Connection

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Website

What makes black and white photography so important to you?

I think I’ve always loved black-and-white photography. I believe it started when I was a kid, especially with old movies. I fell in love with the contrast between the two shades. What makes black and white so important to me is that it adds a timelessness and a starkness to an image that color just can’t interpret. I love the way light, patterns and textures relate to my subject when color is removed.

 

 

 

 

Jan Jespersen: Timeless, Classic Inspiration from Life

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Facebook

What makes black and white photography so important to you?

To me, black and white photography is photography in its purest sense. The timeless and classic look always fascinates me. Also, in our daily life we have to deal with a lot of expressions and emotions. A monochrome photo, gives you the possibility to define your subject and story, without it being distracted by colors. Color photographs can be fantastic and beautiful. But with colors you always have an extra dimension to work with, as a photographer.

I have often wondered why a black and white photo attracts me as a viewer. In many cases I think it is the simplicity, calmness, the more defined composition and story, that does it. Other times it is the strong graphical effect, strongly defined composition, and light/shadow combination.

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Andok Tamas: Details, Lights and Tones

All images by Andok Tamas. Used with permission.

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WHAT MAKES BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY SO IMPORTANT TO YOU?

There is no deliberate or deep consideration behind choosing black and white, It’s just a wonderful way to make images. I enjoy creating a photo with hundreds and thousands of details, each of them with different tones and lights, and it’s a pleasure to notice (and edit) tiny things, like shades and shadows and highlights, a face in the background, a little light in the corner. But working with colours can be great, too.

 

 

 

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For Marcello Perino, Emotion & Timing Are Everything

Photographer Marcello Perino, an avid street photographer out of Rome Italy, stresses the importance of simply being in the right place at the right time to capture an emotion – a feeling. “I concentrate on the ‘decisive moment’ which often, in my pictures, corresponds to a look, an expression or a gesture that strikes me in some way.” Mr. Perino says, “By and large, I could say that I prefer the emotions that a photo is able to convey rather than a technically perfect picture without pathos.”

Mr. Pernio can’t say for sure what drew him to photography, but he’s been doing it since he was a teenager. He speculates that perhaps it was his love for travel or maybe his desire to immortalize important memories that created the passion. While photography became a way to save all the details of his travels, the connection goes much deeper than a simple hobby.

 

 

 

 

 

The Other Worlds of Purnomo

All photographs used with permission of Purnomo. See more of his work on Instagram.

What makes black and white photography so important to you?

Black and white photography can create deep feeling and simpleness in photos. Once you see good photos in black and white, you will see every aspect of photos and the message they deliver easily. Black and white can deliver the feelings in potrait photos, can deliver the soul of the city, can deliver the otherside of panorama and the most important it can touch the audience who see the photos.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Under 10K: Emerging Black and White Street Photographers on Instagram

Some of the best are the ones we don’t know about.

I was truly impressed by what I saw while scouring Instagram to show you ten mostly monochrome street photographers to inspire you this month. The thing that excited me most was just how many people are making work like this, and how diverse and interesting street photography really is. In the tradition of the great street photographers of earlier decades, there are people all around the globe adding to the visual record of person, culture, place, and architecture and sharing it with their fellow photographers and humans. Here are some mostly black and white feeds that you’re bound to find particularly inspiring and some reasons why.

 

 

Michael Comeau: Finding the Moment in Street Photography

All images by Michael Comeau. Used with permission.

Photographer Michael Comeau is a lifelong Brooklyn resident with a serious photography obsession. It started when he was really young and very much into stuff like National Geographic Magazine. Now an adult, he’s had quite a long time to hone and mold his creative vision–and that’s clearly evident in his work.

According to Mr. Comeau, his work blends traditional street photography with elements of portraiture, still life, abstracts, and landscapes. But to me, it’s all about the moment.

You can follow his adventures around the streets of New York on Instagram: @michaelcomeau

 

 

 

 

 

Why Black and White? Top Street Photographers Weigh In

Black and White tugs at everyone differently, but there is work that truly tugs at the hearts of everyone. It has the power to create interest from chaos, emphasizing emotion over color noise, and tone over hue. Just look at the trends for street photography and it is not hard to see a general preference to go monochrome over color. #monochrome and #bw commonly go hand in hand with street photography posts.

But why has black and white photography taken such a hold over the street photography genre? Is it as simple as ‘because that is what everyone else is doing?’ or is there more to it? One thing is for sure: even some of the genre’s most popular photographers stick to it!

 

 

 

 

 

Walter Rothwell’s Exit Left Showcases The Most Unique of Street Photography Scenarios

All images by Walter Rothwell. Used with Permission. 

It’s rare in street photography to come across easily reproducible lighting scenarios, but that is exactly what photographer Walter Rothwell has done with his Exit Left project since 2007. Each year Mr. Rothwell makes his way to a local train station, where back in 2007 he was initially drawn to a particularly strong patch of light he discovered reoccurs pretty regularly around the same time every year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street Photography and Kodak Tri-X Film: 62 Years of Going With The Grain

In recent years, thanks in part to social media and the ease with which participants can share images, street photography has enjoyed unprecedented popularity. A generation of digital cameras, inspired in part by the classic tools of street shooters, has combined with the power of social networks and easy image sharing to empower a new generation of photographers to embrace street photography. The results: A glut of photos: many of them mediocre, some good, and some of them really good.

But even the best of digital street photos have a problem. Digital street photos are too smooth. They’re too clean. They seem clinical. They have very little noise, and certainly no grain. That grittiness, dirtiness that reflects the chaos of the street is missing. And so, software tricks are employed to emulate the graininess of classic films. Click a button, and your grainless digital image suddenly looks like it was shot with the film of choice for many street photographers throughout the years: Kodak Tri-X.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zlatko Vickovic: Black and White

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Talk to us about how you got into photography. 

To make a long story short: back in the days of analog photography I was a wedding photographer, and after a long break when I have built my career as traditional artist painter and graphic designer, once digital photography came to the scene, I felt in love with photography again. It came naturally. When I was youngster in school, and after that in wild teenage years, even if itwas someone else’s camera, it would always end up in my hands. I was always interested in mechanical and technical things, and how stuff works.Curiosity, I think that’s the key.

What made you want to get into black and white? 

Well…and I tend to repeat here what`s already said from other photographers… Black and white photography has many advantages. Color is hard. When you shoot in color, color become main subject of photo and often override all other elements. There are many elements that can make or break good photo, and out there on the streets, sometimes you have only second or less. So, color is just one more element you have to think about, and it`s less likely that all elements like shapes, light, subject, gesture, will come into place if you have color in the mix. If you want to shoot color, you have to first search for color that will work. And, on the other side, there are certain moods and feelings that can be transferred only with black and white images.
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How did you get into street photography?

I like photography in general, but street photography is my true love. I shot everything in the past…landscape, macro, portrait, weddings…but I find that only street photography makes me feel alive and does not bore me. And it`s most democratic off all photography genres. You don`t need expensive studio, traveling to exotic places, or expensive gear. You can shoot with almost any camera and make great photos. It`s not about sharpness of the lens, or photoshopping landscape to death. It`s all about personal vision, unique moment, and emotion. 

What makes you think of your work as surreal? 

I`m not interesting to make photos that are exact snapshots of reality we look at. Photographer is always subjective, even the beginner, in terms that he decide what to put in, or leave out of frame. I`m interested in making photos that has some underlying meaning, to create look and feel that ask questions, not just show what it is. And we are living in surreal world, it`s just that we are so overwhelmed with everyday life that we don`t see it. If you stop and just try to look at the world, interconnections of people, their gestures, light, shadows, buildings, strange man-made objects, the more you look at it, the more it looks surreal. So I just try to see this aspect (or dimension if you like) of life as much as I can, and record it with my camera.

The way that you look at contrast and shapes in a scene is quite interesting. Where did you pick this up from? 

I think it comes from the years in traditional art, painting and design. I first look at the large main blocks of the photo, and try to work with that. If photo don`t work on thumbnail size, it will not work when you enlarge it, either. So, establishing large, basic construction of the frame is crucial. And details will take care of themselves.
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What makes you choose the specific scenes that you do? 

Very often it`s just instinct, feeling… somehow I come across some corner of reality and I know there can be good image there. I just have to stop, emerge myself in scene, or wait something to happen. And of course, there is question of light. I`m always searching for beautifull light, because, as great Trent Park once said “Lights turns the ordinary into the magical.”

Why is black and white important to you and the art world? 

We are always standing on the shoulders of great photographers of the past. So, by keeping tradition of black & white photography we pay homage to old masters like Bresson, Andre Kertesz, Brassai, just to name the few. And somehow we become part of that great stream. On the other hand, black & white photography will instantly stand out from massive amount of everyday snapshots, often taken without any thoughts and intention. Last but not the least black & white is the core of photography, essence and soul of it. And we don’t want to lose, especially in this troubled times we live, soul of something we love above all.

Daniel Zvereff: On Black and White Documentary Photography

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All images by Daniel Zvereff. Used with permission.

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Be sure to support our Kickstarter! We’re in the middle and could really use more funding! If you like stories like this, you’ll be able to get all this and more with La Noir Image the magazine

You’re a photographer that often shoots in color; and very vivid colors! So what creative choices typically make you shoot in black and white instead? 

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 I’m not quite sure if there is a straightforward decision in my mind when working on a project that steers me towards color or black and white. I think its more of a feeling, something I can’t quite explain.

Shooting color and the whole thought process of composition is much different than black and white. So when you go about composing and creating images for black and white, what thought processes are you typically adhering to and what are something that you’re always being conscious of? 

I grew up shooting exclusively in black and white my entire life up until the last few years. When I am shooting color, I am definitely still thinking in terms of black and white, I haven’t changed my thought process at all. I think I produce a better image when negating color from my mindset, I find it distracts me.

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What do you feel black and white does for a photo that color can’t do and do you feel that black and white is still very important to photography? Why? 

I don’t think there is something that color photography can’t do or vice versa. I think it all boils down to a process and idea– thats one of the joys of photography, choosing a medium that best fits ones concept. In the end, whatever it is you are trying to accomplish with your work, there are endless possibilities. 

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What’s your approach when it comes to photographing people for a project? How do you converse with them? 

Every approach is different, mostly, I find its about being open and having a little courage to break out of the comfort bubble of keeping to yourself. A lot of people are really open to being photographed and having a conversation.
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Talk to us about the gear you use and your favorite black and white film? 

I loved tri-x, still do, its not as good as it was in the early 2000s, but still great. I use Leica equipment for digital and 35mm formats. I also have a wonderful Rolleiflex 2.8F and a Mamiya 6 for 120mm format.

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(NSFW) Beauty in Simplicity: an Ode to Minimal Black and White Nudes

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All images by Lachlan Walker. Used with permission. Also please remember to fund our Kickstarter.

Instagram: @lachlanjames_

Website; lachlanwalkercreative.tumblr.com

My name is Lachlan Walker, I’m a 23 year old photographer from Melbourne, Australia. Photography is omething relatively new for me. 

Up until 2 and a half years ago I’d never touched a camera in my life. It was only when I met my girlfriend, who had always had a passion for photography, that I first picked up a camera. It was an old Nikon D3000, not much good on a technical level, but it was enough to spark my interest.

A few months later I purchased my first camera of my own, a Canon AE-1 Program. 

This was the camera that made me fall in love with photography in a big way. 

This was also the camera that gave me such an appreciation of black and white photography. 

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I almost exclusively shot Ilford HP5+ and through this I think I developed a real sense of seeing light and shadow in my photography. I’d always known it played a role in capturing a good image, but it wasn’t until I started shooting black and white film that I really understood (without the distraction of colour) just how important it was. 

 Today I shoot with a Fuji X-Pro 1 and my work is almost exclusively colour, but I still use what I learnt from shooting black and white film in the early days of my photography every single time I pick up my camera. I honestly think if I had just one tip for someone starting out with photography, it would be to get an old film camera and shoot black and white until you really get an understanding of the role light and shadow play in your images. 

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 Anyway, that’s my back story and how I got into photography, and why I have such an appreciation for black and white images, let me tell you a little about my project ‘Beauty in Simplicity’ and how it came to be.

Early on with my photography I almost exclusively shot landscapes however after a while I started to find them relatively boring, so I started moving towards lifestyle/fashion work. 

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I absolutely loved the challenge of working with a subject, getting to know them and capturing a real sense of who they were as a person.

While I still thoroughly enjoy lifestlye/fashion work, and professionally it’s what I intend to continue doing, I’d always toyed with the idea of somehow combining my landscape and lifestyle/fashion photography, which is how my ‘Beauty in Simplicity’ project was born.

The purpose of the project is exactly as it sounds, to find beauty in simplicity. I wanted to shoot my subjects in minimalistic landscapes in black and white. I didn’t want the distraction of colour to take anything away from the model and how they were a part of the landscape.

I also wanted to shoot my models topless/nude for this project to further add to the idea of ‘beauty in simplicity’. 

To me the female body is the most beautiful thing on this planet, much more so than any lake, mountain, river etc. I wanted to make a point with these images that nudity doesn’t equal sex. Society continues to sexualise and objectify the female body in such a horrible way, and I really wanted to show that skin doesn’t necessarily have to be seen as something sexual or ‘offensive’. 

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This whole project is about stripping everything right back to the bare minimum and just showing things for what they truly are with no distractions.

I think the fact that I was able to show friends and family, especially my mother and grandmother these images and have them understand the point I was making proves that I’ve somewhat succeeded in what I was trying to achieve. 

I think black and white imagery will always play a part not only in my photography, but in photography in general. As a learning tool it is invaluable.

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Love: Exploring A Relationship in Monochrome

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All images by Nathan Hostetter. Used with permission.

“I wanted to show the relationship dynamic of a blue collar man and his white collar girl.” says photographer Nathan Hostetter when he emailed La Noir Image to showcase his project. This relationship isn’t a typical one though. 

 "The male subject comes from the working class and is adjusting to his new upscale life, and the woman is used to getting her way. The series reflects on the man alone, and the thoughts and emotions of two people that love each other, even if they don’t always understand one another.“ 

Don’t forget about our Kickstarter! Please consider donating to us if you want to see more content just like this.

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Nathan always took photos for fun more than anything–paid or not,” I’ll always have my camera with me. A few years back my girlfriend let me have her old Nikon D90, this was my first DSLR.” says Nathan. “I dove right in and learned everything I could about the camera and light. Later, I began asking my friends to model for me so I could work with people.” Nathan likes photographing people, and perhaps that’s partially why he wanted to do this project. 

To that end, this project isn’t really about an actual couple. Instead, the woman (Dani Afori) in the set is actually Nathan’s girlfriend, and he had worked with the male model (Staffan Endenholm) in the past so it was easy to get him on board for the idea. Its conception started at the Gansevoort Hotel in NYC. “Initially I was just going to shoot with Staffan, but once I looked over the room and wardrobe I got the idea to show a working man new to an upscale lifestyle.” says Nathan about the creative direction. 

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“I knew from the start I wanted smoking in the shots, I don’t smoke myself, but I have a thing for capturing it on camera. Staffan had the perfect look for the shoot, and the models’ attitudes and personalities are opposite and fit the roles of the characters perfectly.”

Funny enough, the whole thing evolved as it was taking place. Hence they went about having a night on the town. Staffan was actually working on a construction project and communicated it during the creation of the series; and so this gave Nathan the ideas. Contrast the typical blue collar worker with the glam of NYC’s Meatpacking District and you’ve got quite a story.

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“Neither of us lives in a bougie condo or anything, but there is a lot of passion, and a fair amount of stubbornness.” says Nathan about how the project is sort of based off of his own relationship. “Through all that we still love each other very much and wouldn’t rather spend time with anyone else, and that’s the attitude I wanted to capture.” This was conveyed by Dani–she’s a passionate and emotional person while Staffan is calm and almost disinterested. 

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how much hell she puts him through, no one makes him feel this good, and there’s no one he’d rather share a smoke with on the streets in the middle of the night.”

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Nathan chose to do the project in black and white because of his the grain structure looked in the images. 

“I usually just go with my gut on this, and as I was looking over the project I just wanted to see it in black and white.”

All images were shot with the Canon 6D and a 24mm f1.4L lens.

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InfraRed Sox

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“In his images from an infrared converted camera, players’ uniform numbers and names seemingly disappear, giving a fresh slate to the upcoming season.”

Via the Boston Globe

Giuseppe Milo

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The Faceless project

What makes black and white photography so important to you? 

Black and white allow me to emphasize shadows and light in my pictures. I love to give them a dramatic, cinematic feeling. Monochrome allows me to have a high level of contrast in my pictures which I like. Black and white is also a part of me. I like extremes and there is nothing more extreme than a black and white picture with high contrast.

What inspires you to create photographs? 

Movies and tv series. As I said, I really like to give my pictures a cinematic feel. I also like to be inspired by the light. I always look for beautiful light. In my opinion if there is great light and the right composition a picture has always something to say.… 

Why is black and white photography so important to our future in the art world? 

Black and white is a unique genre. Some kind of pictures must be processed in black and white. It will always be very important to photography because exactly like color, monochrome is a tool we use to express different feelings with pictures.

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Mariangela Gavioli

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Flickr

What makes black and white photography so important to you?

I see in colors but I feel in B&W.  As well as when I dream.  All my dreams are in black and white . I don’t remember one in color B&W can convey me . The simplicity and, at the same time, the complexity and nuances of whites and blacks can “make clear” the reality and life.


What inspires you to create photographs?

People, details, light, dark … life … everything that surrounds me.
Every day something catches my attention: it can be a normal situation or extraordinary. It does not matter. Everything can be “beauty”. And the camera shoots it.

Why is black and white photography so important to our future in the art world? 

Because it goes straight to the heart without deviations. Comes direct. And it is what we need now and tomorrow. Nowadays we are continually distracted or perhaps interested in redundancies. B&W brings us back to the truth, the essence. To us. Without interference.

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Rinzi Ruiz

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Website
Tumblr
Flickr
Twitter
Instagram

What makes black and white photography so important to you?

Black and white photography is important to me because it was black and white photographs that drew me into the world of photography in the first place and when I really got into it I learned a lot about photography in general just by working in black and white. It helped me see the importance of light and that of shadows and allowed me to express emotions and moods that I was feeling. 

What inspires you to create photographs?

Many things inspire me to create photographs but these three aspects are at the top of the list. The first is to be able to get into the zone and be one with my camera and the environment that I find myself in. The second is the positive emotions I feel when I get something really good or learn something new. The third is simply the fact that I am able to do something I truly love and am passionate about doing.

Why is black and white photography so important to our future in the art world?

I think it’s important because it provides a different type of creativity and a different way in which to see the world.  I think limitation is one good way to get and be creative so to produce an image that can communicate a message or a feeling in black and white will continue to be challenging and continue to lure people into working with it. I’m glad people still value and appreciate black and white photography today and I think it’ll continue to be a part of the art world in the future.  

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Walter Rothwell

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Website

Street photography International

What makes black and white photography so important to you?

It’s how I see, I react to light, shape and tone more than colour and have always found this exciting, it allows us, as photographers, to interpret our environment in a way that only we are seeing.

Secondly, I’m a film photographer and darkroom printer, the two halves become one creative process and the satisfaction of looking at a carefully crafted silver print is still special. Black and white photography requires thought, consideration and work, the negative is the foundation but must be built upon. The photographer must draw upon their skill and experience but, as the printer for some of the legendary photographers Gene Nocon stated, he only encountered a couple of negatives in his entire life that printed straight with no darkroom work, it’s often the final printing that brings the picture to life. That’s why I love the balance between the two processes, I see and take photographs with the knowledge of how I will finish it in the darkroom — when I look, I see prints.

What inspires you to create photographs?

Photography is a beautiful medium, it has the power to seduce and surprise, to make us think or simply smile. I try to create photographs with these considerations in mind, if you are going to present a photograph to the world it should have at least one of these factors. That is the role of the photographer, to pull a little bit extra from life, to recognise a moment of humour, poignancy or simple beauty and capture it, the power of photography is to communicate that moment for others to see and share. Great photography is timeless, it speaks across generations, my aim as a photographer, however remote, is to contribute to that legacy.

Why is black and white photography so important to our future in the art world?

Black and white grounds us to the origins of photography and beyond, drawing is the foundation of art and throughout history the majority has been rendered in black and white, the artist learned how to interpret light and shape into tone and create a new reflection of reality. As modern life and technology moves forward our world is becoming saturated with artificial colour, much of it designed to draw our eye and attention, black and white allows us to focus, escape the ephemeral and concentrate on what matters.

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