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A Black-And-White Truth - Articles Surfing
Who says beauty is absent in the absence of hues and colors?
In black-and-white photography, this is rarely the case.
Despite the boom of color photography in advertising and in almost all forms of media, many photographers and photo enthusiasts remain loyal to the beauty of subjects in grayscale.
THE BEAUTY OF GRAYSCALE
In reality, black-and-white (b&w) photography didn't lose its glory despite the dominance of color photography. Why? because its foundation leads back to great symbolic values in people's culture like birth, wedding, death and other solemn events where the basic white and black are present. And in between, unlimited shades of gray continue to define the other realities.
Over the years, the certain abstract quality of b&w prints never fades to appeal to the senses of imagination and intellectual standpoint. The absence of hues and other shades of color let people unlock the mystery and appreciate the innate beauty in an ordinary scene.
Its 'simplicity' also forces the audience to see things in a different light and urges them to concentrate on other aspects of the photo like composition, lighting, and the like.
A DOSE OF HISTORY
In the beginning, everything was black-and-white.
Before color photography invaded national magazines and newspapers, black-and-white photography dominated mainstream media. Being more convenient to use and produces better results compared early color film processing, b&w was safer to use. But with the resurgence of color photography'with the help of modern technology'more and more people craved for colored photos, making the photographers shoot almost everything in color.
B&w kept plummeting with the presence of film manufacturers who offered better color film and processing at lower prices. As a result, less and less b&w films were available in the market, making it more expensive and hard to find. This shift eventually led to the abrupt dropping of creating b&w images in the last the last 50 years.
BREATHING NEW LIFE
Most amateur photographers are being lured to colored photography because of its almost limitless possibilities. But as they become seasoned lens men, they go back to black-and-white photography because of its beauty and mystery.
Being part of the power of photography, a new life has been breathed into b&w today. Back in print advertising, b&w continues reinvent because it can now be manipulated digitally. In fact, more and more Internet sites create series designed to introduce the new generation of photographers to the possibilities of b&w photographs. These sites tell how great b&w photography is as a photographic medium as it reintroduces the photographers to the concepts of shadow, highlights detail, film, image contrast, exposure, and tonal range.
Tips in getting black & white photos:
1. Decide what to shoot in b&w that would emphasize the beauty of the subject.
2. Start learning how to convert color into gray tones.
3. Test your contrast and key skills by balancing major shade components.
4. Identify textures, lines, and shapes that would standout despite the absence of color.
5. Set the mood of your photograph by manipulating the lighting used.
6. If you're a neophyte, take digital photos.
7. Try to test your skills using a black & white film to improve depth and character of the subject.
8. Look for local photofinishers that can print your photo in b&w photo papers.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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