Black and white was once the only means we had to communicate, photographically. That was long before most of us got involved with it. But for some of us, B&W is how we started off in photography, and how we saw our images in print. But since the beginning of photography, black and white has been a very romantic medium. That romance continues to this day, with black and white easier and simpler to do than ever. And yet, for some, it’s just as complicated and difficult as ever. Perhaps this will give you some ideas to advance your black and white photography.
Every rule or guideline in photography has an exception. A lot of what we like in our images is subjective, although composition and lighting principles give us a common framework to critique our work as well as the work of others. One important aspect of an image is the quality of light.
Here’s a diptych of two faces. It's called “Angry Man/Neutral Woman,” and was created and copyrighted by Aude Oliva of M.I.T and Philippe G. Schyns of the University of Glasgow, in 1997. It is used here with permission.
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