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  1. #11
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    B&W is many times described as timeless, don't know where the saying came from but here goes. (Paraphrased)

    "When you shoot a B&W portrait you take picture of the person, when you shoot one in color you take a picture of their clothes."
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  2. #12
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Colour was very finicky and complex when I started, also rather expensive. I cut my teethe with the Pavelle process, which by then was marketed by Paterson, also doing Ferrania reversal processing.

    Black & White was cheap, ex Government/Military surplus materials where readily available and inexpensive so I used films like FP3 and a little HP3 bought in bulk and some early PE (not RC) paper obviously made for fast printing pf aerial work. Many in the UK will remember the suppliers AW Young, Marston & Heard, Harringay Photographic Supplies etc, and 2 modern suppliers have a link back to those days, Martin Reed (Silverprint) used to work for Harringay PS, and Roy of RK Photographics is the son of the owner.

    I shot a lot of colour personal work in the 70's and 80's mainly Fuji E6, I'd been processing E4 until the release of E6 and continued to do so until the late 1980's, at that point I decided to concentrate solely on B&W for my personal work.

    Black and white simplifies, it takes away the mundane colours, aesthetically it's more pleasing as an art medium.

    Ian

  3. #13
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    I agree with the above. After shooting black and white for a few years now (due mostly to finances) I find that those images are compositionally superior to my earlier color images. Yes, due to experience, no doubt. But that expereince was in learn to see and shape a photograph, not just to record pretty colors.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  4. #14
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    For me it is very simple...for the most part, I find color to be distracting. It can surely be pleasing in many situations but, overall, and unless it is a very simple, minimalist composition, I almost always feel that it detracts from an image.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusM3 View Post
    For me it is very simple...for the most part, I find color to be distracting.
    +1. Color, for many of my photographs, is distracting.

    In particular, color can be camouflage that inhibits the viewers' ability to see the underlying patterns, textures, and visual rhythms. When you remove color, it's easier to see.

    That said, color has its place. In particular, when the character of a scene is about color itself, B&W won't work well.
    Bruce Watson
    AchromaticArts.com

  6. #16

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    I think the reason may be rooted in the simple concept of biology. We have a vision that does not include color, and that leads us to explore that vision. If we had UV vision, or X-Ray vision we would also image in these realms. Though I have to admit, I did buy a pair of X-Ray glasses out the back of a magazine as a kid, but propriety prevents my from posting those photos.

  7. #17
    ehf
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    Re: Why Black and White?

    I've noticed that people sometimes ooh and aah over the color of a photo rather than the subject of it, excepting when the color is the subject, of course. When you take away the color, your subject is, in a manner of speaking, seen in another light.

  8. #18
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    Its a good artist medium because it is based on simple concepts (like projection of shadows), it is easy and inexpensive and it offers massive control over the representation of the values that were in the scene.

    Color is based on a much more complicated emulsion, is more expensive (especially for large prints) and not as easy to process and the control over values with contrast masking is far from straight forward or easy.

  9. #19
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    It is impossible for one person to convey to another in words or images exactly what he sees, thinks, and feels. Something is always lost in the effort. This loss can be destructive, or it can be constructive by eliminating nonessential information. Color can be nonessential in expressing what one person thinks and feels about the subject. So are too many words. Consider the Japanese haiku: 17 syllables to convey the soul of feeling. Consider some Picasso and Modigliani drawings: a few lines to suggest the entirety the subject. And so it is with monochrome photography.

  10. #20

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    We see in color so printing in B&W or perhaps a better term would be Monochrome Shades imparts something of an obligation for the viewer to look deeper into the image to grasp the photographer's message.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

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