Emma Bonvecchio


Unveiling the Magic of Monochrome: A Dive into Black and White Photography

Embark on an intriguing journey into the captivating realm of black and white photography, a world where the interplay of light and shadows, rather than the vibrancy of colors, commands the stage. Immerse yourself in the exploration of how this unique approach to imagery profoundly influences the art of visual storytelling, lending depth, emotion, and an enduring sense of timelessness to each captured moment.

Black and white photography.

We could chat about it forever, but time is limited, and nobody wants to read something super long.
So, in this short article, I’ve just started sharing my thoughts. I’m not sure where it’ll go, but I’ll do my best to join the conversation and talk about the good sides of monochrome photography.

Let’s start with something basic: black and white in photography looks cool. It’s stylish and can really speak to us. That’s reason enough to like it.

For me, the main point of a picture is to tell a story. I’ve written a lot about colors and how they make us feel. I’ve also talked about making old-style photos and editing in general. Black and white fits into this puzzle too. It’s all connected.

Now, back to the main question:

Do we like b&w or not? Well, I’m a big fan, but I want to explain a bit more.

But first, let’s go back in time a bit. When cameras were new in the mid-1800s, they only did monochrome. They couldn’t do colors well. So, pictures were just different shades of gray. People tried to add colors later, but it wasn’t very exciting until much later, around the next century.

Colors are great, don’t get me wrong. I love them. But b&w photography is special because it focuses more on different things. I’m not kidding when I say that in this article, I discussed how certain parts in colorful pictures might be less noticeable due to all the colors. Do you catch my drift? When we take away the colors, things change completely – the colors we see, the way everything appears.
And some parts become even more special, like the brightness and darkness, the differences, the details, and how things are arranged.
(Just to be clear, these parts are still important in colorful pictures, but sometimes they mean something different.)

That’s why I think black and white pictures can help us take better color photos. They show us how to pay attention to certain things that we might forget about when we have lots of colors to use.

Let’s talk about something else. Do we need to know if we want a black and white picture before we take it, or can we decide later when we’re working on the photo? I think it’s not about one or the other. There’s no right or wrong way. Sometimes I take pictures knowing I want them in black and white. Other times, I realize during editing that a picture will look better without colors. Maybe the way things are arranged, the feelings in the photo, or the light make black and white better. 

It’s also worth considering that when we begin with the intention of capturing black & white shots, we’re likely to pay more attention to the factors that enhance our photo. This, in turn, could lead to more refined outcomes. This is especially evident in the realm of analog photography. For instance, when I use a specialized monochrome, the entire approach transforms from the beginning. I become attuned to different aspects instead of focusing on colors. In contrast, with digital photography, if the colors aren’t working as expected, experimenting with the grey scale during the editing phase is a viable option.
If it turns out well and feels fitting, why not? There’s no issue.

B&W - Emma Bonvecchio

Is there a rule for working? I don’t think so, but that’s just what I believe. Art is different for every. By the way, I think that a grey scale looks good on everything. I haven’t seen a picture that looks bad in black and white but looks amazing in color. Nope, not one.
People who really care about the traditional way might not like it, but if you can’t fix a color photo while editing, using b&w could be your last try.

And that wraps up my article. I’ve put in some pictures here and there. For example, I think that mountains are great for black and white photos, they have cool light and textures. If you ever get to the mountains, try taking some shots and then edit them in a grey scale.

Remember, it’s all about enjoying the moments and holding onto the memories.

Thanks for reading, as always.

Goodbye for now. Until next time, let’s focus less on thinking and more on taking pictures.

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