Black And White Best Photographers

best black and white pictures Black And White Best Photographers

best black and white pictures Black And White Best Photographers

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4. Robert Capa – 1913 – 1954 – War photographer, photo-essayist, co-founder of Magnum. His most famous, and at the same time a disturbing and iconic photograph, is a photo of the Spanish Civil war that depicts a man at the moment he’s being shot to death, called The Falling Soldier.

 The term Generation X was coined by Capa, who used it as a title for a photo-essay. During the first Indochina war, while being commissioned for a photo reportage of that war, he stepped on a landmine and became one of the casualties of one of the wars he documented so successfully.

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Indeed, beautiful black and white photography doesn’t attract with its play of colors. Here close attention to composition, lighting, perspective and the context it is shot in are important. Hence, before considering the photos presented below please prepare some patience and time. This post presents some truly excellent examples of beautiful black-and-white photography.

5. Ansel Adams 1902 – 1984. Arguably one of the best known American photographers. The way we perceive and assess a black and white photograph up to this day, is largely formed by Ansel Adams’ contributions for elevating black and white photography to an art form.

The term zone system was invented by him and he described how a good black and white should look like: good coverage of all tonal zones and a result of perceiving a scene in his mind’s eyes: visualization.

His knowledge and teachings are documented in a 3 Volume book called “The Camera”, “The Negative” and “The Print”, which is considered to be the best text book on (black and white) photography ever written and largely still apply to modern day’s digital photography.

Adams was also known for manipulating his images in the dark room to align it with his vision, his ‘pre-visualization’, rather than to accept the original negative as it is. Look at the video to get an impression of Adams’ post processing in the darkroom and how much he manipulated his images and how his famous photograph “Moon over Hernandez” looked like in a straight print without any manipulation.

Unfortunately, the photographer is unknown. The photo seems to be taken at exact the right moment from exactly the right angle with a perfect lighting. Black and white can be powerful as well.

I’ve compiled a list of famous photographers who have had a decisive influence on photography as an art form as we know it today. I’ve categorized the photographers in several genres that are considered fine art genres.

If you’re a serious photographer and don’t know the photographers or their work yet, then you really should start getting to know them!

Quote: “I am trying here to say something about the despised, the defeated, the alienated. About death and disaster, about the wounded, the crippled, the helpless, the rootless, the dislocated. About finality. About the last ditch.”

lighting plays with geometry. Or geometry plays with lighting? The winner of the Black & White Spider Awards 2007.

2. Richard Avedon: One of my favourite portrait/fashion photographers who created many iconic photographs of celebrities

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Rodney Smith has his own understanding of professional black-and-white-photography. Unusual, abstract and surrealistic works.

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Tour Eiffel: extraordinary contrast and perspective. Strong, clean and very precise shot.

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Quote: “When one sees the residuum of greatness before one’s camera, one must recognize it in a flash. There is a brief moment when all that there is in a man’s mind and soul and spirit may be reflected through his eyes, his hands, his attitude. This is the moment to record. This is the elusive moment of truth”.

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The photographers are randomly ordered and the order doesn’t reflect any ranking nor does this pretend to be an extensive list.

Staircase is an example of Gibson’s high-contrast, minimalist black and white compositions have influenced a generation of photographers. By isolating the essential elements of a scene, his pictures show a style that is unique and immediately recognizable. [via]

An illustrative summary of iconic pictures with their pairs of Balakov’s Lego figure pictures which are reconstructing famous moments in the history of mankind.

Alin Ciortea presents examples of modern street photography. In black and white, of course.

When we’re talking about documentary photography an extensive list of photographers come to mind but Dorothea Lange surely was one of the most prolific in this genre. She received a lot of recognition with her series of photos of migrant families. She documented the consequences the Great Depression had on displaced farm families, commissioned by the Farm Security Administration  When looking at her most famous photograph Migrant Mother, it reminds me, despite the obvious lack of colour, so much of Steve McCurry’s Afghan Woman. I’d say, that Migrant Mother is the Mother of this Afghan woman on more than one level.

2. Alfred Stieglitz 1864 – 1946 – Some say he’s the spiritual father of fine art photography. Founded Camera Work, a quarterly journal, considered to be the best and most beautiful photo magazine ever made.

Created a series of photos that only depicted clouds without any other reference points, called Equivalents, which can be seen as the start of fine-art in photography. Later on, Minor White wrote a famous essay on Equivalents, explaining Stieglitz’ concepts behind Equivalents.

The clouds as subject matter didn’t matter, it was the feeling conveyed and the symbolism that mattered. Stieglitz was also a friend of Steichen and co-founder of the Photo-Secession, a movement that promoted fine art photography.

Creator of iconic photographs like the Steerage, Spring Showers and several series of portraits of Georgia O’Keeffe

4. Hiroshi Sugimoto: Japanese artist whose work can be seen on the U2 Album cover, ‘No line on the horizon’

Quote: “Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.”

Quote: “It is not art in the professionalized sense about which I care, but that which is created sacredly, as a result of a deep inner experience, with all of oneself, and that becomes ‘art’ in time.”

Quote: “Photography is a medium of formidable contradictions. It is both ridiculously easy and almost impossibly difficult. It is easy because its technical rudiments can readily be mastered by anyone with a few simple instructions. It is difficult because, while the artist working in any other medium begins with a blank surface and gradually brings his conception into being, the photographer is the only imagemaker who begins with the picture completed. His emotions, his knowledge, and his native talent are brought into focus and fixed beyond recall the moment the shutter of his camera has closed.”

Environmental portrait photographer. Arnold Newman took the art of portraiture to another level by trying to include the natural habitat of his subjects in his photographs. Newman did that in a way that also gives an indication of the profession and passions of his subjects. Many times he framed his subjects, very often other famous artists like painters, musicians and architects, in such a way that they became part of their own artistic creations. Newman kept records of his photography sessions in so called ‘sitting books’ in which he would record details of that session.  The two pages below depict the sessions with composer Igor Stravinsky for probably his most famous environmental portrait photograph.

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June 9, 2008 Leave a comment Beautiful Black and White Photography 6 min read Graphics, Pictures, Photography Share on Twitter or LinkedIn

Alignment. Sometiems all it takes is to be at the right place in the right moment and take a shot under the right angle. That’s what happened here.

© Henri Cartier BressonTop 10 photographers who influenced photography to become what it is today (and any serious photographer should know)

Back in 2007 on a episode of the Antiques Roadshow, a collection of 23 issues of Camera Work was valued at a price of $ 60,000 to $ 90,000. You can view the entire collection of images that Camera Work published on photogravure.com.

Quote: “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy”

Quote: “Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships”

Two Tree Hill. The composition looks very surreal, yet powerful and beautiful.

Pedro Meyer shows the life of people across the globe. This photo was taken in Rio De Janeiro.

Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. When he is not writing or speaking at a conference, he’s most probably running … More about Vitaly…

Berk-plage – France. What a sky! A really strange squadron: octopus, teddy bear and skates.

by Joel Tjintjelaar | Mar 24, 2015 | Blog, most popular | 6 comments

If you’ve been following Smashing Magazine for a while, you know that almost all posts from the Monday Inspiration series are pretty colorful and eye-catching. This post is an exception. Compared to colorful designs where catchy colors help the design to stand out, in black-and-white designs the ability to stand out depends only on its ability to communicate rather than on its appealing visual presentation.

Steichen partnered with Stieglitz in 1900, which resulted in the making of Camera Work.

One of the most famous contemporary black and white photographers. Classic!

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Woman Of Tibet. Realism at its best. Awarded with International Photography Awards in 2007.

Rui Palha photographs simple people in simple situations. Result: extraordinary photos of simple things surrounding our life.

Of course this list doesn’t pretend to be an exhausting list; I could name at least a dozen other photographers who were equally important in the development of fine art photography in the past century.

But then it wouldn’t be a top 10 obviously. But if you’re interested I’m listing five other names here that are worth looking up and exploring:

1. Edward Steichen 1872 – 1970 – The most famous representative of the so called pictorialism movement, an art movement that dominated the start of the last century. Considered to be the very first fashion photographer, creator of The Pond – Moonlight, which was the most expensive photograph ever with a price tag of almost $3,000,000 until the likes of Andreas Gursky, Cindy Sherman and Peter Lik broke that record.

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“No peeping please!” Very powerful, emotional and somehow sad photo.

Erwitt, an advertising and journalistic photographer known for his black and white candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings — the master of the “indecisive moment”.

Quote: “Photographing at night can be fascinating because we lose some of the control over what happens in front of the camera. Over a period of time the world changes; rivers flow, planes fly by, clouds pass and the earth’s position relative to the stars is different. This accumulation of time and events, impossible for the human eye to take in, can be recorded on film. For the photographer, real can become surreal, which is exciting. During the day, when most photographs are made, scenes are usually viewed from the vantage-point of a fixed single light source, the sun. At night the light can come from unusual and multiple sources. There can be deep shadows which act as catalysts for our imagination. There is often a sense of drama, a story about to be told, secrets revealed, actors about to enter onto the stage. The night has vast potential for creativity.”

Notice: this post isn’t supposed to showcase the best black-and-white-photos of world’s best photographers; please see it as a modest attempt to inspire designers for experimenting with black and white instead of using a variety of vibrant colors all the time. Hopefully, everybody will find something interesting and unusual for herself or himself.

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1. Julius Shulman: One of the greatest architectural photographers ever.

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Sources and Resources Tribute to Masters of Photography B/W Photo Gallery 1000 B&W Flickr Pool Decisive Moments: Classics in B&W The Blanco y Negro – Black and White Flickr Pool Noir & Blanc Blue and White Excellence Moments The Art of Black and White (Hard Cover) Ten Truly Inspiring Photographers Key Ingredients to B/W Photography

This shot was taken in El Salvador. Child with star mask during “Day Of The Dead”. Other child in background rolls tire for repair in garage where he works at an adult’s job. The photo is full of tiredness and stubbornness. Simple motif conveying strong emotions.

Ten extraordinary black and white photographs sent to the Wired.com editorial by its readers.

Simple yet excellent composition. This photo manages not just to show something, but to capture a moment of life in all its beauty and vividness.

Alison’s life in black and white photos. The significance of these pictures emerges in retrospect. “When my daughter Alison was born, in the tradition of a new parent, I began to photograph her, initially in a separate and private body of work. However, in the process of documenting Alison’s growth, I developed a passionate interest in human relationships and capturing intimate moments in the lives of family and friends.”

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In her legendary photos Toni Frissell impresses with a strong trend toward surrealism or realism. The photo presented below, although in black and white, is both extremely sharp and clear. To achieve such level of clarity in black and white is extremely hard.

Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami on the hills surrounding the capital, where his film “Taste of Cherry”, which was co-awarded the Golden Palm in Cannes 1997, was shot.

Quote: “It’s not always easy to stand aside and be unable to do anything except record the sufferings around one.”

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5. Nick Brandt: Still alive and relatively young compared to the mostly deceased photographers listed here. He documented the disappearing world of the African landscape, mainly wildlife with a strong fine art approach.

This photo has been taken in South Crillon Glacier, Washburn.

Edward is regarded as one of the great American photographers who mastered the landscape, the portrait and the still life photograph. Especially known for his famous photographs of a pepper that many photography students still try to emulate. What not many people know is that Weston described the concept of pre-visualization at least ten years earlier than Ansel Adams who made this a term that every photographer today knows about. Together with Ansel Adams he was part of a group of San Francisco photographers called Group f/64 who emphasized the precisely focused and correctly exposed subject.

One of the greatest portrait and editorial photographers of the past century who made many famous portraits of equally famous people. From Muhammed Ali and Kennedy to Churchill, Bogart and Hepburn: they were all iconized in front of Karsh’ camera. Karsh was known to give significant importance to the hands of his subjects, as any good portrait photographer would do, and he would lit their hands separately. Many of his photographs are familiar to many people even though they might not know the artist behind it.

Long exposure black and white minimalistic photography is quite a popular genre the last years and is still gaining in popularity. But despite the long list of great long exposure photographers of late it all started with Michael Kenna. Perhaps not the first long exposure photographer – who can tell? – but surely the photographer who was at the start of long exposure photography as a very popular genre. Kenna’s long exposure photographs are often times focused on night time long exposure photography with exposure times extending to 5 hours or more, of course using analog cameras. But besides the typical long exposure photographs with mainly seascapes and a famous series with nuclear power plants, called Power Station, Kenna also created a breathtaking series of lone trees in the snow. Michael Kenna, truly an artist who had a decisive influence on today’s photography.

Polese’s works pay close attention to small, tiny details. The tones are perfects and compositions are beautiful which is why the photos are presented in this post. Notice the sharp contrast and the lighting at the first image below and the sharp pathway leading to the light in the second one.

Meet Smashing Book 6 with everything from design systems and accessible single-page apps to CSS Custom Properties, Grid, Service Workers, performance, AR/VR and responsive art direction. New frontiers in front-end and UX with Marcy Sutton, Harry Roberts, Laura Elizabeth and many others.

Aneta Kowalczyk makes portrait photography. Some of her photos are provoking, some are strange and some are extremely beautiful. The example below displays the beautiful side of black and white photography.

Artistic yet beautiful and extremely powerful shot. Michele Clement is the winner of Black & White Spider Awards 2007 in category “Outstanding Achievement”.

3. Henri Cartier Bresson – 1908 – 2004 – Street photographer, photo-essayist, co-founder of Magnum photography. H-C B coined “The Decisive moment” to reflect that there’s a unique moment in photography when everything falls into place for the perfect composition to express a meaningful message.

It’s highly intuitive and it cannot be repeated. Bresson was a master at that and created many iconic photographs that expressed this “Decisive moment’ and hereby elevating street or candid photography to an art form.

Many street photographers after him have tried to capture the Decisive moment photograph, but only a few succeeded. One of them who should be mentioned is Andre Kertesz from whom Bresson gained inspiration.

Kertesz called his Decisive Moment, “The delayed snapshot”.

This photo, titled Candy Cigarette, not just displays something, it tells a story. It is both emotional and beautiful. This is what the originality of black-and-white-photography is all about.

Dog snout. Sometimes the moments from our life are the most valuable moments we should enjoy and keep in mind.

Quote: “I am convinced that any photographic attempt to show the complete man is nonsense. We can only show, as best we can, what the outer man reveals. The inner man is seldom revealed to anyone, sometimes not even the man himself.”

Black And White Best Photographers