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Producing noteworthy black and white photographs often involves more than just converting a color photo to grayscale. An understanding of which scene would work better in black and white than color is crucial. Taking control of the tone during the conversion process is equally important.
“No person is completely wicked, just as no person is perfect. We are all grey” ― Shinde Sweety, Arjun: Without a Doubt
I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few.
“It’s because I know that life is really black and white that I miss my life of colors.” ― Anthony T. Hincks
The great thing about getting older is that you become more mellow. Things aren’t as black and white, and you become much more tolerant. You can see the good in things much more easily rather than getting enraged as you used to do when you were young.
“When I was a little girl, everything in the world fell into either of these two categories: wrong or right. Black or white. Now that I am an adult, I have put childish things aside and now I know that some things fall into wrong and some things fall into right.
Some things are categorized as black and some things are categorized as white. But most things in the world aren’t either! Most things in the world aren’t black, aren’t white, aren’t wrong, aren’t right, but most of everything is just different.
And now I know that there’s nothing wrong with different, and that we can let things be different, we don’t have to try and make them black or white, we can just let them be grey. And when I was a child, I thought that God was the God who only saw black and white.
Now that I am no longer a child, I can see, that God is the God who can see the black and the white and the grey, too, and He dances on the grey! Grey is okay.” ― C. JoyBell C.
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Life isn’t black and white. It’s a million gray areas, don’t you find? Ridley Scott
“Don’t ever let the light of your soul dim, even if the world seems black and white.” ― Tilicia Haridat
“The first draft is black and white. Editing gives the story color.” ― E.J. Hill
When you create a black and white photograph, you create something that is abstract and strikingly real at the same time. Black and white photography is strange that way. It is perhaps this abstractness that makes black and white images so intriguing and timeless.
“WHETHER IT’S A CHILD’S TOY OR A NATION’S OIL, IT’S ALL THE SAME, the Red Rider said. YOU FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU WANT. AGGRESSION. IT’S THE SPICE OF LIFE. War was right: people had to fight for what they wanted.
Or maybe balance, as Famine has said — strength matched with temperance. No, she thought. Not balance, Control. IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT CONTROL, War agreed merrily. [as in the meaning of why wars happen]” ― Jackie Kessler, Rage
I don’t see the world completely in black and white. Sometimes I do. Benicio Del Toro
“Color is everything, black and white is more.” – Dominic Rouse “Black and white is abstract; color is not. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world.” – Joel Sternfeld “One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state.
Much can be implied by suggestion, but statement demands certainty… absolute certainty.” – Paul Outerbridge “I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black.” – Henri Mattise
It’s about you. If you win, it’s you; if you lose, it’s you. Black and white. Nowhere to hide. Greg Rusedski
“You have a consistent character yourself and you wish all the facts of life to be consistent, but they never are. For instance you despise public service because you want work always to correspond to its aims, and that never happens.
You also want the activity of each separate man to have an aim, and love and family life always to coincide––and that doesn’t happen either. All the variety, charm and beauty of life are made up of light and shade.
” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
“Even when your life is full of color, you still need to be reminded that things come in black and white.” ― Anthony T. Hincks
In this post, we have put together some inspirational quotes on black and white photography by noted photographers and artists. We hope they inspire you to create your own beautiful B&W photographs!
“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!” ― Ted Grant
There’s so much grey to every story – nothing is so black and white. Lisa Ling
Being glamorous is about strength and confidence. It’s black and white – dramatic. You have to be strong. Catherine Zeta-Jones
I think it’s because it was an emotional story, and emotions come through much stronger in black and white. Colour is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart. Kim Hunter
“Color tends to corrupt photography and absolute color corrupts it absolutely. Consider the way color film usually renders blue sky, green foliage, lipstick red, and the kiddies’ playsuit. These are four simple words which must be whispered: color photography is vulgar.
” – Walker Evans “In black and white there are more colors than color photography, because you are not blocked by any colors so you can use your experiences, your knowledge, and your fantasy, to put colors into black and white.
” – Anders Petersen “One sees differently with color photography than black-and-white… in short, visualization must be modified by the specific nature of the equipment and materials being used.
” – Ansel Adams “In the ’70s, in Britain, if you were going to do serious photography, you were obliged to work in black-and-white. Color was the palette of commercial photography and snapshot photography.
” – Martin Parr
“Winters are a desolate time where all senses are wiped away, and here in Canada, this is especially true. All smells are sucked clean from the air, leaving only a harsh, icy crispness. Colours are stripped away, leaving a stark white landscape, a sky which stays black at night and gray in the day, a world of only three shades.
Stay outside too long, and your hands will get so cold that they’ll go numb and turn red, like the claws of a lobster. During a whiteout, even sight itself is reduced to nothingness.” ― Rebecca McNutt, Listen is Silent, or The Usurer
“The most colorful thing in the world is black and white, it contains all colors and at the same time excludes all.” ― Vikrmn, 10 Alone
“What if — is more complicated than that? What if maybe opposite is true as well? Because, if bad can sometimes come from good actions—? where does it ever say, anywhere, that only bad can come from bad actions? Maybe sometimes — the wrong way is the right way? You can take the wrong path and it still comes out where you want to be? Or, spin it another way, sometimes you can do everything wrong and it still turns out to be right?” ― Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
“I am a writer. I live a thousand different lives in a thousand different places, in a galaxy of black and white words. Lend me your imagination, reader, and let me show you new places, new people, and fantastic worlds, in all the myriad colors of your mind.
” ― Christine Stobbe
“Ought one to surrender to authority even if one believed that that authority was wrong? If the answer was yes, then I knew that I would always be wrong, because I could never do it. Then how could one live in a world in which one’s mind and perceptions meant nothing and authority and tradition meant everything? There were no answers.
” ― Richard Wright, Black Boy
Life isn’t always black and white. You’re not always sure you’re right. At least I’m not. Brad Paisley
“For grey matter, there is no black and white. If you think in black and white, then you do not use enough brain functions.” ― Petek Kabakci
“Books bring alluring colors to our mundane black and white world.” ― Caleb Reese
Things are not quite so simple always as black and white. Doris Lessing
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“If you look beyond the lies, then you will see the truth.Remember: Just because it’s black and white, doesn’t automatically make it a zebra.” ― Anthony T. Hincks
Life is not black and white; there is some gray nuance to it. Pilou Asbaek
“I am very cautious of people who are absolutely right, especially when they are vehemently so.” ― Michael Palin, Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years
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“My philosophy, like color television, is all there in black and white.” – Monty Python “Let’s assume that all the cassettes of monochrome film Cartier-Bresson ever exposed had somehow been surreptitiously loaded with color film.
I’d venture to say that about two thirds of his pictures would be ruined and the remainder unaffected, neither spoiled nor improved. And perhaps one in a thousand enhanced.” – Philip Jones Griffiths “Which is probably the reason why I work exclusively in black and white… to highlight that contrast.
” – Leonard Nimoy “There’s something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery.” – Stefan Kanfer
“A zebra will never see the funny side of things because he is always thinking in black & white.” ― Anthony T. Hincks
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I’m very black and white about what I like or don’t like, and I’ve always been that way. Ryan Murphy
Everything is very black and white for me. I don’t really like playing mind games. Zayn Malik
“At first, all is black and white.Black on white.That’s where I’m walking, through pages.These pages.Sometimes it gets so that I have one foot in the pages and the words, and the other in what they speak of.” ― Markus Zusak, Underdog
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Ritesh has been photographing for about seven years now and his photographic interests have varied from nature and landscapes to street photography. You can see his photography on Flickr or on his website.
Human nature is not black and white but black and grey. Graham Greene
“I work in color sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it.” – Mary Ellen Mark “In the history of photography, we have many masterpieces in terms of black and white books.
You have Bresson’s ‘Decisive Moment,’ Frank’s ‘The Americans’… many masterpieces. But there is nothing to this caliber in color. Well, I think I’ll waltz with my muse and hope that I might be able to produce something on this order in color.
” – Ralph Gibson “Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.” – Ansel Adams “I think it’s because it was an emotional story, and emotions come through much stronger in black and white.
Color is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.” – Kim Hunter
Black and white creates a strange dreamscape that color never can. Jack Antonoff
“A rock is harder than a feather, you can talk and jabber and make exceptions, but in the end, if you have to choose which one is gonna hit you on the head, you’ll choose the feather every single time.” ― Andrew Klavan, The Truth of the Matter
“Its not easy taking your own advice, accepting what you don’t like hearing, & seeing the grey amongst the black & white.” ― April Mae Monterrosa
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“Loo, life is black and white. You don’t know what’s good for you, because you don’t see the black and white! You don’t see where the black lines end and where the white lines begin! You’re going to grow up to be no good if you keep on that way.
It’s impractical. I only have one child, and I won’t have her growing up to be impractical. I can’t think of a worse thing to be than impractical!” ― C. JoyBell C., Saint Paul Trois Chateaux: 1948
“Mortals. Everything is so black and white to you.” ― Kami Garcia, Beautiful Creatures
In tragedy, it’s hard to find a good resolution; it’s not black and white: it’s a big fog of gray. Paul Dano
There are infinite shades of grey. Writing often appears so black and white. Rebecca Solnit
Some girls like to say one thing and mean another. And me being who I am, I’m very straightforward. Everything is very black and white for me. I don’t really like playing mind games. Zayn Malik
If everything isn’t black and white, I say, ‘Why the hell not?’ John Wayne
We are all somewhere or the other a little grey, not black and white. We have our imperfections. Kriti Sanon
“This world that we live in would be perfect if there were less prejudice and people who think they are better than others.” ― Werley Nortreus
“Our personal past is only available to us now through black-and-white film, it’s a medium for communication with the dead, including our dead selves, the way we used to be, which is why we’re drawn to it.
” ― Frank Lentricchia, The Sadness of Antonioni
“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.” ― Robert Frank
“Things are always either black or white. The grey in between is only a confusion.” ― Ljupka Cvetanova, The New Land
Black and white is abstract; color is not. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world. Joel Sternfeld
The human brain works as a binary computer and can only analyze the exact information-based zeros and ones (or black and white). Our heart is more like a chemical computer that uses fuzzy logic to analyze information that can’t be easily defined in zeros and ones.
If you are interested in learning how to create black and white images that stand out – with a step by step guide that will equip you with everything you need to know, do take a look at the best-selling eBook Better Black and White, over at Photzy. You will learn how to evaluate a color scene for tone and how to convert an image to B&W, in a step-by-step process, using either Photoshop, Lightroom or Elements. Click here now to check it out.
I don’t believe there’s two sides to every story. It’s black and white. There’s right and wrong. Joe Wurzelbacher
Just simple things – I like black and white, monochrome; I like suits. Vanessa Kirby
Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected. Robert Frank