6 Reasons Why Black and White Photography Still Rocks

Due to various technological advancements and many opportunities to present your work, such as gurushots.com online photography competition, there is an increasing number of photographers aiming to become recognized or simply to express their creativeness.

There is an endless number of styles that you can choose from. While many people like to experiment with different colors, black and white photography still remains interesting and challenging, since the elements you work with are quite limited – they come down to the shape, form, and pattern.

While this was considered a disadvantage in the past, it has become a great way experiment and see just how creative you can be.

That is why most photographers, both professional and amateur, still go for the B&W style, and we will be digging deeper into reasons that make monochrome photography so eye-catching.

It's great for emphasizing emotion

Black and white photography is considered to be dramatic and it really makes you stop and think about what you see and what you feel. Although colors can undoubtedly be used to portray certain emotions, monochromatic photography is all about the storytelling on a deeper level.

To quote Kim Hunter: 

I think it’s because it was an emotional story, and emotions come through much stronger in black and white. Color is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.
— Kim Hunter

Black and white photography is usually associated with really strong and deep emotions such as sadness, loneliness, and melancholy, so it’s no wonder that it makes us really feel what the artist wanted to show us.

Light is completely different in black and white

In monochrome images, light is what serves as a substitute for the missing colors – it is used to emphasize shapes, patterns, and details. This enables us to play with it and use intense shadows, tones, and contrasts to portray reality in a different “light”.

It makes pattern pop out

When we remove the color element from an image, the compositional elements are greatly emphasized. Compared to color photography, in black and white photography it is easy to make the pattern really pop out and to emphasize different forms, shapes, lines, tones, and lighting.

When a photographer wants to pay special attention to the texture of the subjects and portray it in a realistic way, colors can only be seen as a distraction. Even though patterns are sometimes overlooked, they can take your photo from beautiful to really special.

It still has that timeless charisma

One of the most common reasons people choose to create black and white photographs is that they have an ability to add that timeless charisma and take us back to the past. Moreover, they can even add a dash of mystery, as we cannot determine the exact period in which the photograph was created.

When we see a black and white photo, we associate it with the past, regardless of when it was taken.  

Negative space benefits from it

When the colors are not used in photography, a great emphasis is put on the negative space, which gives you the ability to play with contrast and it gives your images a more minimalist touch.

Negative space refers to the area around and between different objects in your photo which ensures that there is nothing to distract the viewer from the things you would like to emphasize.

It puts a focus on composition

As we’ve mentioned, many people think that color can be a distraction. When creating color photographs, the main focus is on the color temperature and color casts, rather than on shape, texture, and form, which are, according to many professionals, vital for a good photograph.

On the other hand, monochrome photography really allows us to emphasize these important elements and the overall composition in a way that could never be achieved with colors.

These are just some of the reasons why black and white photography can be a great choice for showing your skills and making your work more unique and personal. Luckily, nowadays you have an ability to make breathtaking monochrome photos with your smartphone, so don’t be afraid to experiment a bit and add more emotion to your images.