Black and White Photos
When I'm scrolling aimlessly through thousands of Facebook photos, blog posts, etc, a black and white photo will always make me pause. Maybe because we're bombarded with colors every second of every day? Maybe because I feel like if someone chose to edit this specific memory in their life in black and white, then it's a poignant, oh-so-important moment? The images in this post were from one wedding, and when I finally put some of them through a black and white edit, I felt it totally changed the way I looked at it. The picture above was a good shot of the bride laughing, but suddenly, when it was edited in black and white, I wanted to know what she was laughing about. I wanted the back story, and since I didn't have it, I started creating my own.
Black and white photos have an inherently nostalgic feel, whether the photo was taken long ago, or within the last 5 minutes. Pulitzer Prize winner, Deanne Fitzmaurice, says that "it's ingrained in our psyche to trust and believe in (black and white) photographs." I agree; it makes you look at things a little differently. For example, in the picture below, the bride was talking to her bridesmaids in the dressing room before the ceremony and she had a habit of fiddling with her necklace. Along with a more dramatic crop and the power of black and white, it looks like she could be gathering herself before the ceremony, or saying a silent prayer, or...who knows. It added that element of mystery to it.
I hardly ever edit my photos in black and white, and I think part of that is being scared! In my head, turning an image to black and white makes the emotion more real, more raw. Black and white is the better story-teller of all edits, and who am I to pick a moment and make it more than it is? It strips down the moment to it's foundation; you see the textures, shadows and light.
I would always just say to myself that I liked color better than an 'old boring black and white' but that was just an excuse. I just felt like putting a black and white out there was a self-important move! So, I'm going to get over it!
My challenge for myself is to edit more in black and white, and making the choice to evaluate my images and choose ones that makes sense (not because I don't feel like fixing white balance, exposure issues, or I'm just trying to save a poorly-taken shot!), because when I do edit with black and white, I'm always very happy with the outcome!