Before the invention of Kodachrome in 1936, the only medium that was available to the mass of photographers was black and white photography. With the invention of color printing one would think black and white photography would see it’s demise, but instead, it caused the medium to see a surge in popularity. Loved for its simplicity and raw attitude toward the photograph, learning the art of black and white photography is an expertise that everybody should consider.
To break up a black and white photo, you have to take contrast, shape, form, lighting, and the subject into consideration as separate entities. Color is said to distract away from the subject, so using a black and white scheme can allow the focus to rest on your subject, whether that be a landscape, cityscape or nature. With color photography everywhere, black and white photography allow a much-needed change in the photography world, like a breath of fresh air. But it comes with challenges too.
Below you will find a list of 5 key elements to use in your black and white photography to make stronger photos. Whether you just focus on one of them or include several of these elements in one photo is up to you and your creative choice.