Why Is Shooting In Monochrome So Appealing?!

in #photography5 years ago (edited)

Before there was colour, photos were exclusively black and white.

As film and photography technology improved colour became available with greater and greater quality, but still to this day black and white is revered by photographers and loved by the human eye. But why?

One of many amazing photographs by Fan Ho

Another great street photography shot, this one by Eric Kim

We see the world in colour!

However the colours that are all around us can distract from the forms and lines that make up what we see. Stripping back these colours brings more focus onto the shape. Another reason black and white can work so well is when photographing thing which we know to be colourful, for instance a flower. When you can look upon a flower in a new light and see past it's vibrant colours it bring a new appreciation to the world around you.


A unique black and white look at my two favourite's.

Capturing the abstract and emotional

Another great aspect of shooting in black and white is capturing a normal everyday form and highlighting the contours of its edges, drawing out a silhouette whether it is the standard black on white or the more unique white on black background. This does wonders in capturing the unseen in everyday life. Also, when photographing an emotive face it is almost always made more pronounced by the use of black and white


Bruce Gilden capturing an emotional moment in Haiti, 1988

Monochrome photography isn't without it's challenges though.

Without the visual appeal of colour it's important that when photographing you look for great compositions. The use of leading lines, golden triangles and an eye-catching foreground, mid ground and back ground are all important parts of getting that great black and white shot.


As photographers the use of black and white to capture a form, an emotion or a different view on things will be a time honoured technique. So to all those who read my posts and love to get out and make photos of the world give monochrome a try, see what techniques you find draw in your eye and use those composition techniques to further enhance your coloured shots!

Yours with Purpose

Free Spirit, Creative
Positive Thinker
An Adventure Awaits Us


Cool pics and article ;) Thanks!

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Excellent Harry - I love monochrome and am intrigued and wowed at the nuances of the genre. It is always a lot of fun experimenting.

@photocircle brought me to you! Amazing photos!