I have a penchant for black and white photography. I am drawn to it and have often wondered why. I finally realized what it was a few years ago. Good black and white photography highlights certain elements more than color photography. These elements are shapes, contrast, texture and lighting. We see these same things in a normal color shot, but in a black and white capture, they are highlighted because there isn’t any color to distract. Because of that, only certain captures work successfully in black and white.
I’ve attached a series of six prints from my Black and White Photography 2 Gallery that highlight this aspect. The subject matter is floral blooms. We are drawn to flowers initially by their color, but we appreciate the beauty of them via shapes and textures that take center stage in a B&W format. Following are six wall art prints that work very well as black and white photographs.
The first one is called Camellia. With this particular capture, I used a filter that gives the print a grainy look, creating a vintage feel. Notice how the shape of each petal becomes a prominent factor. You also see subtle shading on each petal with a stronger lighting coming from the upper right (taken outdoors with sunlight).
The second one I’ve titled Orchid Pyramid. It is almost a complete opposite in relationship to lighting. These blooms were taken using a shadow box, which diffuses the lighting creating a soft, subtle look. Again, the other elements take center stage such as the shapes of the petals and the contrast of the center of each bloom with the other petals.
The third print is titled Orchid Blooms and is a series of blossoms on a stem using indirect lighting coming from a window. You see the strong light as it makes the middle bloom almost glow. Notice the delicate shapes and the intricate veins of each petal.
Prints 4-6 take us into the world of roses. These particular shots come from a public garden in Portland, Oregon. The rose bushes were over 5 feet tall with huge blooms (very healthy, happy plants).
The fourth print is called Rose Bud and highlights the strong lighting, which emphasizes the shapes of the petals in this rose bud. See the contrast in texture between the delicate petals and the leaves and branch?
The fifth print I’ve titled Rose Blossom and it allows the viewer to really see how delicate the petals are and the intricacies of their shapes wrapped around each other. The lighting is a little more subdued, allowing the shapes to become center stage.
The last one is titled Red Rose Bloom. It highlights the beauty and the delicate nature of the rose petals. The shading you see in the B&W version allows your eye to really see the delicate simplistic nature of the many petals entwined together to form this bloom.
Do you see the way the shapes, contrast, texture and lighting become much more relative to this type of photography? I also think the beauty of fine art black and white photography is that these prints, when framed and matted work in almost any type of room décor. Thoughts?
I invite you to visit my Black and White Photography 2 Gallery to enjoy these prints and many more.
Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)
Follow my work:
Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)