Black and White Portraits

Posted: March 30, 2011 in Photography
Tags: , , , , ,

Karl Heiner once said: “Life is like a good black and white photograph, there’s black, there’s white, and lots of shades in between.”

I’ve just noticed that the last few entries in the Portrait Project have been predominantly black and white. There’s a great article from Joe Farrace on how black and white portraits create impact.

I’ve noticed that when editing my photos I prefer black and white a lot of the time which is interesting because I intensely disliked black and white movies growing up, believing they were more boring in content because of their lack of colour. However photography has definitely made me appreciate what black and white brings to the moving image.

Here is some black and white inspiration from photographers who chose to convert and more who didn’t have the choice.

33 Amazing Black and White Portraits

Beautiful Black and White Photography

Yousuf Karsh

Philippe Halsman


The following is a great quote form Nadar also:

“The theory of photography can be taught in an hour; the first ideas of how to go about it in a day. What can’t be taught… is the feeling for light – the artistic appreciation of effects produced by different…sources; it’s the understanding of this or that effect following the lines of the features which required your artistic perception.

What is taught even less, is the immediate understanding of your subject – it’s this immediate contact which can put you in sympathy with the sitter, helps you to sum them up, follow their normal attitudes, their ideas, according to their personality, and enables you to make not just a chancy, dreary cardboard copy typical of the merest hack in the darkroom, but a likeness of the most intimate and happy kind….”


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