Why I Love Black and White Photography

This year, “black and white” has become “the new black”.

Initially, I figured that it may be coincidental that my “keepers” were mostly monochromatic. But it can’t be.

So far this year, only 1 out of 29 photographs I consider to be “favourites” is a colour photograph. Just one. The other twenty-nine images are black and white. That’s 96%. Subconsciously I’ve become a black and white photographer.

So what is it that’s got me disregarding colour? What’s made me ignore the billions of colours around me?

As I’ve grown as a photographer my main goal is to let my images tell their own story. Not necessarily my story. Just a story. One story. All the elements in the image are there for a reason, no distractions. To me, that makes a successful image.

No distractions. Does colour distract? Maybe it does. Maybe it does for me.

My stories don’t need to be in colour. With black and white photography I can immediately eliminate one major distraction from the story or feeling I want to convey.

Perhaps another reason is that last year I had the opportunity to work in a dark room and I absolutely fell in love with that process. Since then I’ve shot many, many rolls of black and white film with the aim of returning to the dark room to make enlargements.

Another quick look at the Favourites Collection. Only one is digital. Only one! Another thing to note is that the colour shot and the digital shot is not the same image.

So here is the epiphany: the reasons I love black and white photography is that, 1.) for me, colour distracts and doesn’t help to tell the story and 2.) I’ve been shooting black and white film with the hope that one day soon I can return to the dark room to make enlargements.