You might not know it, seeing as pretty much all the photos I share here on my blog, and over on my instagram page, are in colour, but I absolutely love black and white photography.
I’ve always been drawn to black and white photos, and really love the idea of a photo gallery wall at home that’s purely monochrome. I’m a bit caught up in not wanting to disturb the look and feel of my blog though. I worry that throwing a black and white photo into the mix of bright, colourful ones will be a bit jarring.
Over on my instagram for my photography business though I have started posting a ‘monochrome monday’ photo every week. I’m moving my business over to a more documentary/lifestyle feel, rather than typical posed sessions, and black and white works so well for that.
I’m not sure I’ll do the same with the blog’s instagram, but I do want to start sharing more black and white photos here on the actual blog. I’ll have to come up with a way to do that, maybe a monthly monochrome post, documenting our activities that month.
In the meantime, here are some of the reasons I love black and white photos so much:
1. They take away the distraction of colour.
This photo of Nerys is lovely in colour. Thanks to the lighting, her blue eyes really pop. But, in colour, her Peppa pig hat is really quite distracting as your eyes are sort of drawn to the bright pink writing.
Changing the image to black and white though makes it so much better. The writing on her hat is far less prominent and you’re drawn much more to her face and her eyes.
2. They’re classic and timeless.
Maybe it’s because they remind of us old photos, but there is a real timelessness to black and white photos. Sometimes taking the colour out of an image also takes away some of the clues that would help date it.
I really love that classic feel that you get from black and white. This photo of Nerys wouldn’t feel quite so timeless if you could see the bright pink of her Disney princess helmut!
3. They’re forgiving.
What I mean by this, is that photos taken in our cluttered, busy houses with toys and dishes and bits and bobs everywhere look much better in black and white.
The next two photos show what I mean.
In colour your eye gets distracted by all the visual clutter. The colours fight for your attention and you’re not really sure where to look. In black and white though, it just looks better!
The cluttered worktops and cupboard full of tins just helps tell a bit of the story, rather than being a big distraction from it.
4. They can be dramatic.
A few years ago, my black and white photos were much softer and brighter than they tend to be now. I used to love the high contrast images my husband created, but they didn’t feel like ‘me’. I loved high key, bright images.
But I’ve had a bit of a shift I think. Maybe it’s down to embracing natural light more, and starting to ‘see’ light better. Maybe it’s just that my personal tastes have changed, I don’t know! But I’m definitely leaning towards a darker, more contrasty black and white style.
I love how dramatic they can be.
This image of Nerys at the park is just quite fun in colour. But making it into this rather contrasty black and white really adds some drama to it. Which I love, because I think it creates that feeling of taking on the world that you have as a child, tackling something challenging at the park!
So there you have it, my reasons for why I love black and white photography, and why I want to get back to using it more!
What about you? Are you all about bright colourful images, or is black and white more your thing? Leave me a comment and let me know.