Ever since I’ve gotten back to photography, the black and white fever has hit me pretty hard. I had an uncanny reputation before to be overly attracted to bright and colourful subjects, which are common attributes in my “Ordinary Colours” series. But the black and white genre is just something else… the richness of monochromatic tones and the absence of colour distraction are solid reasons why this genre is still so loved by photographers even in this colourful digital age. Producing black and white images today brings me back to why I fell in love with photography in the first place – one name, Ansel Adams. The grandmaster of landscapes in monochrome, his prints had mesmorised countless throughout a great part of the 20th century.
To be good in black and white photography, half the story befalls on the ability to see beyond the colours which our eyes pick up and understand the intensity of lights falling on a subject, which produces the richness in tones. The other half comes in during the processing stage, after the image is taken. Ansel Adams developed the zone system in the dark room. Although that is pretty much replaced by Photoshop nowadays, the principles of the grandmaster’s system have since become a bible to producing monochrome prints.
Black and white photos are strong reminders to me of the classics, periods when things were much simpler. There were absolute virtues during those times. Let’s be careful to ensure that we pass these virtues on. “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” Proverbs 22:28. 🙂