Black & White Art Prints
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Print - Black & White
In the beginning, photographers created non-coloured images because they didn’t have any choice. This is common knowledge, but most people don’t understand how quickly colour photography was created. The first surviving black and white photos we have come from the 1930s, while the first surviving colour photos we have dates to the 1950s. Of course, early colour photography was expensive and not accurate. For a long time, the best way to create a colour photo was by painstakingly painting a black and white photo by hand. When colour printing resulted in expensive and unrealistic images, people preferred the affordable and restrained black and white colour palate. Eventually, colour photography became more affordable and more popular, but too this day, black and white photography remains very popular.
Why Have Black & White Prints Survived into a Digital World?
While many people instinctively feel the draw of black and white photography, there are others who wonder why it remains popular in a world that has left so much of the past behind. Black and white films are almost non-existent in modern cinemas, but art galleries show a surprising amount of black and white prints. The reason is partly nostalgic, the old black and white photos set the tone for photography going forward and some artists will always want to recapture the glory of the past. But there is also the beautiful simplicity of the black and white images. Modern design is all about elegant simplicity and by draining an image of its colour you can focus in on the other elements. Shape, shadow, light, and dark, it all comes into stark focus when the colour is removed. For these reasons, black and white prints are always going to have a spot in the hearts of art lovers.
Modern Black & White Photographers
Many of the great photographers worked in black and white because they needed to, but today there is a new generation of artists that use this approach to create some striking prints that allow us to view the modern world through an old-school lens. Sebastião Salgado is a Brazilian photographer who documents communities that are often overlooked, using the lack of colour to connect the past and the present. The New York native known as Boogie has found that black and white is the best way to capture the down and dirty reality of modern city life. Mitch Dobrowner is an especially interesting case, he chases after and photographs storms. By removing the colour, he focuses on the form of the storms and the apocalyptic mood that they create. Artists like these are the ones creating the wonderful black and white prints that prove the style is as alive as ever in today’s digital world.