Shades of Grey?

Updated: Feb 3, 2020

Photography is all about light and every photographer learns how to use this to their advantage. If they don’t, it will be to their creative peril. Light builds form and depth around the objects we see both by its presence and its absence. The brightness illuminates and the shadows sculpt the dimensions. All of this happens before we even begin to consider the color of the light. In fact, the beauty of black and white is in the way it harnesses light and shadow without any other distraction. There is a purity to it.

To make great black and white photos takes a lot of practice. It demands that you look at the world in a way that you cannot physically see. All you need to do to prove this is take a great landscape shot processed in color and covert it to black and white. It drains the life out of a photo made to highlight the colors. Does this mean that you cannot make a great black and white landscape? Just try flying that by Ansell Adams. He spent years dedicated to seeing the light and making breathtaking black and white photos.

It takes practice to see in black and white. It takes a dedication to knowing what the light is trying to show you even in the places where it is obscured. It’s no mystery then that we will refer to right and wrong as being black and white. It’s also no mystery why we would prefer color to black and white when it comes to moral objectivity. It takes a lot of work and a lot of practice to see. It takes dedication. Colour allows for millions of shades; black and white allows for black, white and grey. The shades of grey may be argued, but there is no question about which direction you need to go from grey to get to white.

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