Word and Image

More fun in black and white



They used to joke about a black cat in a coal mine being hard to photograph. Sure! Do your worst. A dark cat is almost impossible to photograph in detail in BxW. In color I never noticed it was hard. BxW can be arresting. When it’s good, it’s great! Color is less so. Maybe? I think of texture and tone when looking at BxW. Maybe there’s hope for me yet.



Perhaps, it’s the other way round? Black and white is demanding. I think in color. We see in color. Consider it a work in progress needing a lot of progress.

2 responses

  1. ….for me, black and white delivers the essence, the stark punch of the stripped-down subject because it has less noise/information going on and therefore goes right to the jugular, delivering more with less. With colour, we get all wrapped up in the nuance–‘is that cat REALLY white, or off-white….eggshell? vanilla?’; ‘are those eyes turquoise or marine blue, or maybe…?’ — and in obsessing over the details, we aren’t hit with the oomph, the wow that b&w delivers. Would ‘Psycho’ have been quite as psycho if done in colour? Janet Leigh is even more disturbing in b&w, that creepy motel even more creepy. Would Yosemite have been quite as visually dramatic if Adams had used Kodachrome? The shadows are positively ebony black, making the lights almost blindingly white.

    So I like these cats the most is what I’m fumbling over trying to say….they have more character, more personality.

    March 15, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    • Agreed. Well put. I’ve been away from BxW for a long time. It takes time to regain the vision.

      March 16, 2019 at 12:22 am

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