“Black & White – or Colour”

“When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes.   But when you photograph them in B&W, you photograph their souls!” – Ted Grant






Before even saying anything else… my sales in Fine Art Prints are app. 90% B&W. Why ?… it might have to do with the practical fact that B&W images are colour-neutral and fit with any interior design?… or because B&W photography is associated with more serious artistic expression than colourful  postcards and posters?…. or maybe we are just over-fed with these super saturated ‘mountain-lake-sunset’ stereo types a la National Geographic or Coffeetable-Book?… B&W is a form of abstraction and without doubt helps to abandon reality for the benefit of a more personal, graphic and emotional point of view. It strips the image down to the basics and reveals the substance, forcing it to stand alone on form and composition. It helps us to abandon the label. As Claude Monet said: “In order to see freely, we must forget the names of what we are looking at.” Of course, if your theme is e.g. ‘fall’ or ‘autumn’, colour is essential. Colour can sometimes even be the subject itself. But in general we seem to be drawn to simplicity, minimalism and a degree of ‘non-reality’ or departure from reality, the basis for personal artistic expression, as opposed to mere documentation or technical skill.  Mono-tonal imagery is one way of realizing this approach, offering a stronger visual and emotional impact.

Your comments are appreciated

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About Klaus Rossler - Photography

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3 responses to ““Black & White – or Colour”

  • “Flowers” « Klaus Rossler-Blog

    […] in some earlier posts under different titles, which I don’t want to use here again, e.g. B&W, Blue Garden) Why always show the whole flower? Why not get closer, more and more […]

  • PatB

    The 1st image in the last row draws me right in and I want to linger the longest there; part of me wanting to figure out the whys of of my enjoyment and learn and another part of me just wanting just to enjoy – so I do both.

    I have never considered before now that B&W is a form of abstraction…

    Thanks Klaus

  • Barbara Jaworski

    Maybe the colour in photography is a little like the rhyme in poetry. Of course good poetry often does rhyme, but it’s one device amongst many, and not an essential one. Worse, it’s so easily a distraction and beginning writers will usually sacrifice much more important aspects, like imagery and rhythm, to achieve the rhyme. In the end I reluctantly used to tell my students that their poetry assignments could NOT rhyme – in order to force them to concentrate on the essence.

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