The Mystique of Black and White Photography

Despite the wide popularity of colored photographs, the appeal and mystery that enfold black and white photography is unattested, which may perhaps be the reason behind the continuous demand from photograph enthusiasts and the unwavering dedication of photographers for black and white photography. Modern photography started centuries ago with black and white prints as its main ancestry which was only enhanced many years after to include vivid colors during the printing process. Yet, to this day, the root from which photography traces its long history from is not forgotten.

Black and White Printing

Black and white photography is what a lot of photograph aficionados believe to be a convergence of the art of capturing moments as images devoid of colors, using and making the most out of the light available and tediously and meticulously printing the images on paper in more subdued yet dramatic shades of only black, white and muted grays.

Despite the popularity and presence of cameras and computers that can turn colored photographs into black and white, photography enthusiasts still agree that nothing compares to the actual art of capturing then developing black and white photographs. Their timeless elegance are believed to complement subjects’ skin tone; and once framed, black and white photography also extends its timelessness to different home decorating styles and themes.

Black and white photography involves more experimentation that involves the proper use of light, the angle and the perspective of the photograph and before perfecting printed images that can be high-contrast for a semi-abstract look or subdued and more realistic in nature. Printing would also dictate black and white photography with an old-fashioned brownish sepia finish or black and white photography with white borders. Photographers often dictate the tone and contrast when developing their monotone images, which they can fully control through diligent practice and the gradual development of their skills.

Printing Black and White Photographs

Photo experts believe that processing black and white pictures lose some of its quality and character once other people process black and white prints; sending them to a photo laboratory also diminishes the amount of control photographers have over their pictures and may also limit their creativity in delivering just how they want their images to turn out. These reasons have spurred many black and white photography buffs to build their own darkrooms and purchase all the necessary equipment and chemicals.

Printing black and white photographs are essentially made possible through the use of developers, stop baths and fixers; of which the developer that brings out the latent images is considered to be the most magical part of the entire process. Eventually, photographers will learn what developer to use for the over-all look and feel of their prints since there are specific developers made to produce softer looking prints, high or low contrast prints, fine or big grain prints.