What Makes Black and White Photography Timeless? Vintage photography began in the 15th Century with Robert Boyle’s discovery of silver chloride turning dark when exposed to air in a dark room. It’s this fact that makes B&W photography so classic even centuries later. Black and white photography returns the art form to its true and pure state, without the transformation that modern-day editing provides.
Understanding the concepts and principles of vintage photography further enhances the knowledge of the photographer. Ideas such as shadow detail, image contrast, film and exposure latitude, and tonal range are enhanced through the use of black and white vintage photography. This is a large reason why Visual Flow created the B&W Mixer!
We wanted to showcase some of our favorite examples of black and white photography from the Visual Flow Facebook Community. Join and submit your images to their weekly challenges for a chance to be featured in the next article or on their Instagram feed!
Black and White Photography in Nature
Many famous photographers have mastered black & white photos throughout their careers, from Ansel Adams’s nature photography to Edward Weston’s portraiture. These timeless nature photographs transcend eras, capturing something universal and eternal about the world around us. Using black and white editing to remove the color from the image helps viewers focus on the subject (whether that be nature or an individual in nature).
Black and White Silhouettes
Silhouettes are a great way to stand out from the crowd and create something that is truly unique. When the viewer sees the image the only thing that stands out is the dark, shadowy silhouette. It’s a graphic and beautiful depiction of a scene and great use of light.
Black and White Portraits
The black or sepia tone in photos has a classic effect on black and white photography that people can cherish for decades to come. A couple can look back at their images fondly, and B&W images will stand out as a moment in time. It’s why TV and film production typically uses black and white to show flashbacks or a previous era.
For more inspiration for black & white photography & more make sure you check out Visual Flow’s free Facebook Group! Learn how their B&W Mixer can be used and how to get creative B&W edits in Lightroom. You can also look through previous challenges to gain even more inspiration for your photos and edits.