Chasing Light: Black & white

Black and white door
The old grain and broken windows of an abandoned farm shed near Glenwood Springs, Colorado stand out well in black and white.

In the age of insta-gratification and endless playful color filters that can make your photos pop, it may seem quaint to think about the black and white roots of photography. In fact, it may almost seem pointless to create a black and white image, like the contrived world of Pleasantville. But some stories, even visual ones, are best told in the simplest language possible. That means strong, clean lines, contrast, but not at the expense of detail, and the full range of tones between black and white.

There’s another fun reason to try creating a black and white image every now and then. Ultimately, any photo that’s well lit should look good in black and white. In color, you mask some of the imperfections of an exposure with gaudy hues, but in black and white, you have to put it all out there.