There are a number of famous photography professionals who have preferred black and white over color, including Bruce Weber Photographer. After all, black and white images have a timeless quality to them that colored images do not. In many ways, black and white images transcend reality and transform an image into a blend between abstraction and reality. They deconstruct a scene and reduce it to its tones and forms. Distracting colors are subsequently recast as subtle shades of gray that add to a composition.
Bruce Weber Photographer discusses a few reasons that make it worthwhile to give black and white photography a try
One of the biggest reasons to try out black and white photography is that this style presents interesting and creative opportunities. The world looks quite different in black and white. When shooting in this style, people can think about the light, texture, and tone of images in new ways. In fact, the emphasis of an image naturally shifts to other compositional elements as all colors are removed from it.
This can be freeing for many photographers. They no longer have to be stuck thinking about color constantly. Rather, they can focus more on the fundamental components of photography, which include light and tone. On the whole, this focus on light and tone over colorful hues helps in seeing the world differently and capturing stunning images.
The world is definitely great in color. But at times, these colors can be overwhelming. A lot of distractions caused by color can disappear in images when shot in black and white. For example, a bright yellow and green shirt in a color portrait may draw the eye. But it will not be too noticeable in black and white, and hence allow the viewer to focus more on the face of the subject. Similarly, a distracting red rock in the foreground of a seascape can turn a nice neutral gray when captured in black and white. Color itself can take away focus on shape, form, texture, lighting, and contrast. If the photographer is capturing a portrait of a weathered man with a face full of wrinkles, black and white style will allow them to highlight the texture of the wrinkles. Doing so will significantly help in showcasing the intensity of the man’s age. On the other hand, color will simply distract the viewer and may prevent them from noticing the important message of the image. Black and white photography works wonders in eliminating distracting colors that may subtly shift the viewer’s attention from what matters the most in the image.
It is safe to say that color photography is more realistic as the world is in color. A color image depicts the world as it actually is. While a black and white image will only show a version of reality, which is more creative and interpretive. Black and white photography enables the photographer to break free from certain restraints. They can show the world the way they see it, which may involve beautiful shadows, interesting shadows, and more. Going through the works of Bruce Weber Photographer can especially be ideal to understand the charm of black and white photos.