Photo Essay

Black & White Photography: A Moving Stillness


What happens when the colored photo on your computer screen suddenly goes black and white? The vivid colors suddenly draining away transforming the image into a greyscale of calm, still, peaceful shades. To me black and white photography can say much more than just a peaceful image or a pleasant, clean contrast. Beneath the facade of colorless, cleanliness lies the beauty of the image's stillness, the chaos of its texture, meaning, and intention. Things captured in all pictures but brought out all at once in black and white images. From the simplest photograph to a capture disarrayed with an infinitesimal amount of texture, from a photo so intensely macro to a photo large and encompassing; black and white photography communicates to us this eerie stillness. The following photos were all taken with full intention to be colored but after seeing them in black and white it was impossible for me to show them in any other way. I write this to share my thoughts on black and white photography. To bring out in the minds of others as it has been brought out in my own, the beauty of black and white photography. It is in the silence of black and white that viewers are freed from the noise of color and are all at once brought into the photograph, into a dialogue of meaning and interpretation.

Next time you look at black and white photos disregard all that I have just said and find it for yourself the quiet, calm chaos of black and white photography.

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2 responses

  • Marco Martinez

    Marco Martinez gave props (26 Feb 2010):

    Wonderful photographs. You present a very valid perspective about black and white photography, and I think you argue why it is that ppeople are atracted to monos. I, too, have felt frustrated with color. Rarely have I reached that point of frustration when working on b&w photographs. Really, an engaging collection of photographs and a well--written essay.

  • Chris So

    Chris So said (28 Feb 2010):

    Thank you much Marco!

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