History Of Black And White Photography

best black and white pictures History Of Black And White Photography

best black and white pictures History Of Black And White Photography

Black and white by 85mm ch
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Fisheye lens natural history museum in london
Black and white photograph of demonstrators attending a rally and hold signs that say things like
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Before
Unpublished black history nytimes com
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In his final days martin luther king jr stood by striking sanitation workers we returned to the city to see what has changed and what hasnt
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A parade of ones own

Editors’ Tip: Social Graces: Photographs by Larry Fink by Max Kozloff (Author) and Larry Fink (Photographer)

An iconic American photographer, Ansel Adams is best-known for his monumental black and white landscape photographs. Characterized by extraordinary clarity and profundity, his photographs capture the American wilderness such as The American West, Grand Canyon in Arizona or Yosemite National Park. A master of his craft, Adams experimented with gradations of light by manipulating the degree of exposure and exploring new techniques. He was a co-founder of f/64, the group of American photographers involved in detailed and realistic work. Believing that the artist must discover the beauty in the world, he wanted his work to inspire others to explore their creativity or simply enjoy the nature.

  Editors’ Tip: Brandt Nudes: A New Perspective by Lawrence Durrell (Preface) and Mark Haworth-Booth (Commentary)

Roger Stonehouse – Untitled, via iso.500px.com Be More Selective About Composition

Danny Lyon – Houses and Trees in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas, 1973 Man Ray

The history of various visual media has typically begun with black and white, and as technology improved, altered to color. However, there are exceptions to this rule, including black-and-white fine art photography and in motion pictures, many art films.

Drawn to the New York’s counterculture and The Beat Movement, he traveled with the group on a cross-country trip to Houston and Mexico. As he recalled, the group ‘desperately needed a photographer to be with them, to give them gravity, to live within them, record and encode their wary but benighted existence… Marxism notwithstanding, I was called to service, to be on the road’.

For all the generations that lived before the occurrence of controversial digital revolution, black and white photography has obtained an important place in the collective consciousness. This is strongly related to the fact that many of the historical photographs taken by preeminent photographers were shot in black and white, often by high-quality, lightweight rangefinder cameras, such as Leica. Color photography became more common from the mid-50s onwards, but it wasn’t popular instantly, due to its high price and incorrect rendering of colors in early color films. Some of the greatest photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson even refused to work in color, disappointed by the mediocre results. However, the commercial introduction of digital cameras in the 90s was a true game changer. In the first decade of the 21st century, film-based chemical processes were becoming less common and the previously large interspace between black & white and color photography became almost insignificant. The practical advantages of new technologies have opened the doors for novel possibilities and even the image quality of moderately priced cameras became acceptable, exceeding expectations of those who didn’t believe in digitalization. Nowadays, even though we are fully aware of the certain nostalgia related to analog black and white photography, we still admit there is something exceptionally aesthetically pleasing in a well-composed black and white imagery where everything is stripped down to the core – light, contrast, textures, even emotions. Because of this, we choose to recreate the old magic in a new, digital way.There is definitely something elemental in black and white, which eliminates so many of the potential distractions that color is all about. Black and white can reduce a scene to something more easily and quickly absorbed. It retains a kind of purity which we respond to without so much study, claims David Burnett, a legendary world-traveling photojournalist.

An exciting monograph dedicated to an extraordinary figure and one of last century’s most famous and influential artists. This catalog, which presents more than 200 works and compares and contrasts images with biographical details, describes the creation of some of his most famous pieces and the motifs-very often of females-that inspired the works. Man Ray’s life was marked by a succession of love affairs with famous and intriguing women, and this catalog dedicates several sections to this topic. The book also deals with the themes permeating Man Ray’s work throughout the years, such as his passion for chess, the relationship between reality and illusion, and experimental photography and film.

Trent Parke – Untitled, via darwin-magazine.com Focus on shapes and textures – think like a graphic designer

Mary Ellen Mark: There is nothing more extraordinary than reality Bill Brandt

Mark involved herself with projects that sometimes lasted for years to capture difficult subject matters such as prostitution, mental illness or drug users. As a very open and accessible person, she has touched the lives of many generations of photographers as a mentor and influence.

This classic monograph, first issued as a hardcover in 1965, began its life in 1958 as a monographic issue of Aperture magazine published in celebration of Weston’s life. It brings together a sequence of images and excerpts from Weston’s writing in an effort to channel the photographer’s creativity and, in his own words, present clearly my feeling for life with photographic beauty…without subterfuge or evasion in spirit or technique. Now, 50 years later, Aperture presents a reissue of this volume, which covers the range of Weston’s greatest works, from the portraits and nudes to the landscapes and still-lifes.

To sum up, one of the most common reasons people want to shoot in black and white even today is because it gives a certain timeless quality to the photographs but it is also challenging since the lack of colors makes photographers think and find creative solutions in different ways. Black and white photography transcends the reality by transforming it into a realm that is neither pure abstraction nor regular, well-known homeworld. A monochrome approach is a powerful means of deconstructing a scene and reducing it to its basic blueprint made of lines, shapes and textures and free of distracting colors. Because of this, black and white photography allows both photographers and viewers to explore the basic elements of visual appeal found in the well-composed imagery.

In computing terminology, black-and-white is sometimes used to refer to a binary image consisting solely of pure black pixels and pure white pixels; what would normally be called a black-and-white image, that is, an image containing shades of gray, is referred to in this context as grayscale.[3]

Capturing highways, parades, cars, diners, jukeboxes and many other American symbols, Frank at the same time portrayed an underlying sense of alienation and hardship. He investigated the gaudy insanities and strangely touching contradictions of American culture presenting a basis for a coherent iconography of the time. His photographic style was often considered controversial for his blurred imagery and tilted horizons.

It is well-known that black and white photography can give certain scenes a timeless flavor when done properly. However, something that every photographer, even amateur should learn, is that not every shot works well in black and white. In order to obtain truly remarkable monochrome pieces, it is good to follow some basic hints, tips and tricks.

In a black and white pre-credits opening sequence in the 2006 Bond film, Casino Royale, a young James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) gains his licence to kill and status as a 00 agent by assassinating the traitorous MI6 section chief Dryden at the British Embassy in Prague, as well as his terrorist contact, Fisher, in a bathroom in Lahore. The remainder of the film starting with the opening credits is shown in color.

As a form of censorship when movies and TV series are aired on Philippine television, many gory scenes are shown in black-and-white. Sometimes the exposure of innards or other scenes too bloody or gruesome are also blurred, not just rendered in monochrome, in compliance with Philippine broadcasting standards.

Most early forms of motion pictures or film were black and white. Some color film processes, including hand coloring were experimented with, and in limited use, from the earliest days of motion pictures. The switch from most films being in black-and-white to most being in color was gradual, taking place from the 1930s to the 1960s. Even when most film studios had the capability to make color films, the technology’s popularity was limited, as using the Technicolor process was expensive and the process cumbersome. For many years, it was not possible for films in color to render realistic hues, thus its use was restricted to historical films or musicals until the 1950s, while many directors preferred to use black-and-white stock. For the years 1940–1966, a separate Academy Award for Best Art Direction was given for black-and-white movies along with one for color.

Inside Photographer Robert Frank’s The Americans Edward Weston

Most computers had monochrome (black-and-white, black and green, or black and amber) screens until the late 1980s, although some home computers could be connected to television screens to eliminate the extra cost of a monitor. These took advantage of NTSC or PAL encoding to offer a range of colors from as low as 4 (IBM CGA) to 128 (Atari 800) to 4096 (Commodore Amiga). Early videogame consoles such as the Atari 2600 supported both black-and-white and color modes via a switch, as did some of the early home computers; this was to accommodate black-and-white TV sets, which would display a color signal poorly. (Typically a different shading scheme would be used for the display in the black-and-white mode.)

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We live in an era of omnipresent digital photography, where almost anything visually conceivable became possible to achieve. The ever-growing simplification of post-processing and availability of handy applications allow virtually anyone to alter any kind of imagery – from HDR land vistas to high-end portraiture. Black and white photography, at first, might seem like a strange, romanticized anachronism, but in fact, it isn’t so at all. While it is true that color film became mainstream in the 30s and 40s thanks to the invention of Kodachrome, black and white photography didn’t become obsolete. On the contrary, it has persisted as an ultimate choice for many photographers engaged in photojournalism, street photography, weddings, and glamor portraiture.

Since the late 1960s, few mainstream films have been shot in black-and-white. The reasons are frequently commercial, as it is difficult to sell a film for television broadcasting if the film is not in color. 1961 was the last year in which the majority of Hollywood films were released in black and white.[2]

A self-proclaimed Marxist, Larry Fink has spent forty-five years photographing people in social situations. His most notable work is Social Graces where he captured lives and social events of wealthy Manhattanites in contrast with the working-class in rural Pennsylvania. Perfectly capturing gestures, smiles, glances, wrinkles, troubles and worries of humans, he managed to portray the tension between the public identities and inner turmoils and emotions. His life-long exploration of social classes in America has provided and intimate insight into the lives of ordinary people.

Printing is an ancient art, and color printing has been possible in some ways from the time colored inks were produced. In the modern era, for financial and other practical reasons, black-and-white printing has been very common through the 20th century. However with the technology of the 21st century, home color printers, which can produce color photographs, are common and relatively inexpensive, a technology relatively unimaginable in the mid-20th century.

See also[edit] dr5 chrome List of black-and-white films produced since 1970 Monochromatic color Selective color References[edit] Look up black-and-white in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Black and white.

When shooting in black and white, is it particularly important to lower the ISO (if possible, of course) in order to avoid vague and grainy photographs. While the same is true in color photography,the high ISO noise is even more obvious in black and white photographs and it can ruin the clarity of either main subject or the background. A small amount of noise might be welcome occasionally but’s usually good to avoid it altogether in regular shots. This mysterious photograph of Roger Stonehouse represents a fairly clear, grainless image, despite the fact it was taken in low light.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) is in color when Dorothy is in Oz, but in black-and-white when she is in Kansas, although the latter scenes were actually in sepia when the film was originally released. The British film A Matter of Life and Death (1946) depicts the other world in black-and-white (a character says “one is starved of Technicolor … up there”), and earthly events in color. Similarly, Wim Wenders’s film Wings of Desire (1987) uses sepia-tone black-and-white for the scenes shot from the angels’ perspective. When Damiel, the angel (the film’s main character), becomes a human the film changes to color, emphasising his new “real life” view of the world.

One of the most admired and beloved photographers in the history of the medium, Henri Cartier-Bresson was a true master of candid and street photography. His inventive and unique work of the early 1930s helped define the notion of modern photography and his remarkable ability to capture the everyday life on the go made his work synonymous with “the decisive moment” that was the title of his first major book.

1 Media 1.1 Motion pictures 1.2 Television 1.3 Photography 1.4 Printing 2 Films with a color/black-and-white mix 3 Contemporary use 4 Computing 5 See also 6 References

The movie Pi is filmed entirely in black-and-white, with a grainy effect until the end.

Photography is the practice, science, and art of creating images that are durable by recording electromagnetic radiations, for example light. These electromagnetic radiations, for example light are recorded either chemically by the use of very light sensitive material like the famously known photographic film, or electronically using an image sensor.   How it Works With a Photographic Film In photography, when using a film camera, the lens of the camera focuses the light being reflected to the light sensitive photographic film. Therefore, the light reflected from any object within the scope of the camera’s lens is recorded as a real image on the film inside the camera only during the time of exposure.   With a Electronic Images (Digital cameras, sensor) For digital cameras, the reflected light from each object is focused into the image sensor, which generates an electric charge at each pixel and these electronic charges are then processed electronically and then stored as digital files in modern storage devices, for example, memory cards.   Black and White Photography (Monochrome) The first camera photography were invented in the 1820s, before that time, people relied heavily on traditional media for capturing images, for example, paintings, sketches, and drawings. However, when it emerged, it seemed to vividly capture more information or detail about an object than the traditional media.   The first successful black and white image was taken by Joseph Nicephore Niepce a French developer. However, it got destroyed as the attempted to make copies of it. He was again successful in 1825, where he managed to produce a black and white image of a window.   His invention was later improved by other scholars and in the year 1891, Lipmann Gabriel developed a process of making naturally colored photographs. This was based on the phenomenon of optical light wave interface. This enabled him to win a Nobel prize in physics in the year 1908.   Basically, all photography was black and white or monochrome. Even long after colored images had been introduced, black and white images continued to dominate for a long period of time. The main reasons behind this are: -Its Classic Photographic look -Its Low Costs What really defines black and white or monochrome photography? The tone between the dark shadows and the light define black and white photography. It is important to note that there are some images that are not purely black and white or monochromic. However, they both employ the same principle. Such images include the blue tone images that used cyanotype process and the brown tone that used the albumen process. They were used more than 140 years ago.   It is true to state that many professional photographers continue to produce black and white or monochromic images. This is mainly because of the archival durability of nicely processed Silver halide based photographic materials.   Emerging trends in the world of digital photography shows that black and white images are still in people’s preference. This is clearly seen by the manufacture of new state of the art digital cameras with the capability of shooting black and white images.   Conclusion Black and white images are authentic, they help us trace mans history step by step to his modern state. Its classical feel holds its true beauty.

Considered as one of the greatest portrait photographers of the twentieth century, Yousuf Karsh created a remarkable body of oeuvre characterized by the stunning mastery of technique. The theatrical lighting distinctive of his style served to highlight the most distinctive features of his subjects. Carefully posing and lighting his subjects, his portraits capture both their public and private persona. For this, he would often spend days with them to get to know them better and understand their lives.

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Brandt’s earliest experiments in photography involved night photography, but he also explored the British vistas and its natural form. He is also famous for his series of extraordinary female nudes where he distorted the human figure by using wide angle lens in close-up, transforming it into a series of abstract designs.

Article Headline: he history and beauty of black and white photography Article Description: B&W Photography explained vs digital sensor Published Date: Feb 28, 2014 @ 12:51 Modified Date: June 6, 2018 Author Name: Carlos Taylhardat Publisher Name: Art of Headshots

Traveling between the vastly different worlds of New York society and his working-class neighbors in Martins Creek, Pa., throughout the late 1970s and early 80s, Larry Fink embarked on a project similar to Diane Arbus’s, often capturing in his images some quality of which the subjects themselves are unaware. But Fink, unlike Arbus, doesn’t seek the “freak” in everyone; empathy comes through in the Social Graces he finds and juxtaposes, even when the photos are less than flattering. First published in 1984, the book’s bias toward the “down-home” Pennsylvania folks is evident in the images and Fink’s essay from 1982. Yet a number of the 92 duotone photos are truly riveting, and Fink’s observations of class dynamics 20 and 30 years ago still feel relevant today.

Black and white, often abbreviated B/W or B&W, and hyphenated black-and-white when used as an adjective, is any of several monochrome forms in visual arts.

Black-and-white images are not usually starkly contrasted black and white. They combine black and white in a continuum producing a range of shades of gray. Further, many monochrome prints in still photography, especially those produced earlier in its development, were in sepia (mainly for archival stability), which yielded richer, subtler shading than reproductions in plain black-and-white.

When color is absent, light and shadow become one of the main tools of photographic expression.The darker the shadows are, the brighter the light will appear. It is advisable to base the composition and overall mood of the photo on the contrast between the available darkness and light if no artificial source of illumination is handy. In Trent Parke’s image from Minutes to Midnight series, a scene of natural birth in water is wonderfully captured through the use of available light only.

A versatile artist involved with painting, sculpture, film, photography and poetry, Man Ray was influenced by several movements such as the Cubism, Futurism, Dada and Surrealism. Despite regarding himself first and foremost as a painter, he is best known for his photography works, especially those from the inter-war years. Operating in the gap between art and life, his photography was a means of documenting sculptures that never had an independent life outside the photograph. Andre Breton described him as a pre-Surrealist for the Surrealist undertones of his work that were evident even before the movement was founded.

Wandering around the world with his camera and immersing himself in his current environment, he managed to capture many of the world’s biggest events from the Spanish Civil War to the French uprisings in 1968.

However, black-and-white photography has continued to be a popular medium for art photography, as shown in the picture by the well-known photographer Ansel Adams. This can take the form of black-and-white film or digital conversion to grayscale, with optional digital image editing manipulation to enhance the results. For amateur use certain companies such as Kodak manufactured black-and-white disposable cameras until 2009. Also, certain films are produced today which give black-and-white images using the ubiquitous C41 color process.

Dorothea Lange – Migrant Mother, 1936 What is Black and White Photography?

Ralph Gibson – Untitled, via oldragazine.cc Black and White Photographers You Need To Know

Basic tips and tricks on how to compose outstanding shots apply to both black & white and color photography. However, in the case of monochromatic photographs, we are unable to use color to lead the viewer’s eye into or around the image. Instead, we need to base our compositions and their frames on the interesting interplay or unity of shapes, textures, and tonal range. This Ralph Gibson’s sophisticated nude represents a puzzling composition with an excellent use of negative space.

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The films Pleasantville (1998), and Aro Tolbukhin. En la mente del asesino (2002), play with the concept of black-and-white as an anachronism, using it to selectively portray scenes and characters who are either more or less outdated or duller than the characters and scenes shot in full-color. This manipulation of color is utilized in the film Sin City (2005) and the occasional television commercial. The film American History X (1998) is told in a nonlinear narrative in which the portions of the plot that take place “in the past” are shown entirely in black and white, while the “present” storyline’s scenes are displayed in color. In the documentary film Night and Fog (1955) a mix of black-and-white documentary footage is contrasted with color film of the present.

Some modern film directors will occasionally shoot movies in black-and-white as an artistic choice, though it is much less common for a major Hollywood production. The use of black-and-white in the mass media often connotes something “nostalgic” or historic. The film director Woody Allen has used black-and-white a number of times since Manhattan (1979), which also had a George Gershwin derived score. The makers of The Good German (2006) used camera lens from the 1940s, and other equipment from that era, so that their black-and-white film imitated the look of early noir.

Throughout the 19th century, most photography was monochrome photography: images were either black-and-white or shades of sepia. Occasionally personal and/or commercial photographs might be hand tinted. Color photography was originally rare and expensive and again often containing inaccurate hues. Color photography became more common from the mid-20th century.

Diane Arbus – A Young Man With Curlers at Home on West 20th Street Black and White Photography Guide And Tips

Bill Brandt published his work in two justly famous books: Perspective of Nudes(1961) and Bill Brandt Nudes (1980). Now the oeuvre has been brought together in a single volume in Brandt Nudes: A New Perspective, previously published only in a limited edition. This book reflects Brandt’s original selection and organization of the images. Each of the sections is introduced with a succinct and revealing essay on the work by Mark Haworth-Booth.

McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana – Ansel Adams – Taken between 1933 and 1942

Despite the reign of color film, many photographers today intentionally choose to work with only black and white. Yet, photographers from the previous generations didn’t have this choice to make. Working with the only means available, these artists managed to produce some stunning imagery without the play of colors, only relying on the composition, lighting, perspective, contrast or narrative. By reducing imagery to textures, tones and lines, they have touched the very essence of photography. We present you the masters of black and white photography whose work has remained a point of reference and a gold standard when it comes to the medium in general. Working with wide a range of subjects such as the outdoor scenery, portraiture, still life or street photography, these black and white photographers have pushed the boundaries of the medium and influenced many generations of artists.

Henri Cartier Bresson – The Decisive Moment, 1973-2007 Yousuf Karsh

Some formal photo portraits still use black-and-white. Many visual-art photographers use black-and-white in their work.

Considered as the most important British photographers of the 20th century, Bill Brandt is credited with revising and renewing the major artistic genres of portraiture, landscapes and the nude. His oeuvre is one of the most varied and vivid social documents of Great Britain, ranging from stark realism and social commentary to pure abstraction and surrealism.

Contemporary photo of a Galápagos tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) on Santa Cruz Island

Featured images: Walker Evans – General store interior. Moundville, Alabama, 1936. All images WikiCommons.

Most American newspapers were black-and-white until the early 1980s; The New York Times and The Washington Post remained in black-and-white until the 1990s. Some claim that USA Today was the major impetus for the change to color. In the UK, color was only slowly introduced from the mid-1980s. Even today, many newspapers restrict color photographs to the front and other prominent pages since mass-producing photographs in black-and-white is considerably less expensive than color. Similarly, daily comic strips in newspapers were traditionally black-and-white with color reserved for Sunday strips.:Color printing is more expensive. Sometimes color is reserved for the cover. Magazines such as Jet magazine were either all or mostly black-and-white until the end of the 2000s when it became all-color. Manga (Japanese or Japanese-influenced comics) are typically published in black-and-white although now it is part of its image. Many school yearbooks are still entirely or mostly in black-and-white.

Anselm Adams – The Tetons and the Snake River, 1942 Danny Lyon

An American-Swiss photographer and documentary filmmaker, Robert Frank is best-known for his 1958 book titled The Americans – the project that earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider’s view of American society. Created in the 1950s, this book is considered as one of the most influential photo books of all times.

Imogen Cunningham – Dream Walking, 1968, b&w, via tumblr.com Aim for clarity and lower your ISO

A compelling body of work the photographer Danny Lyon has produced over the course of his career is both politically engaged and personal. Embracing both the lyrical and political potential of the medium and immersing himself intimately in the lives of his subject, Lyon has completely redefined photojournalism. Developing a restless and compassionate vision, he has tackled a broad range of subjects from the biker subcultures and architectural transformation of Lower Manhattan to the civil rights movement and lives of the prisoners or abandoned children of Columbia. Guided by strong ethical and ideological motivations, he contributed to the change of perception of American life presented in the mass media.

Considered as one of the most important and innovative figures in the 20th century, Edward Weston revolutionized the medium of photography. Pioneering the modernist style characterized by the use of a large-format camera and photographs rich in detail and sharply focused, he explored various subjects from panoramas, still lives, nudes and portraits to genres scenes, whimsical parodies and . With his radical approach to composition, lighting, focus and form he wanted to “to make the commonplace unusual”.

Editors’ Tip: Edward Weston: The Flame of Recognition by Edward Weston (Author, Photographer), Nancy Newhall (Editor, Foreword) and Ansel Adams (Preface)

In addition to light and shadow, the variety of textures and shapes in B&W photos is essential. It is important to introduce some unusual shapes or eye-catching textures capable of mesmerizing the viewer’s eyes. Imogen Cunningham, one of the most revered female photographers, was a true master of portraying the bizarre and dreamlike. Her double exposure from 1968, called Dream Walking, is a perfect example of the skillful use of unusual shapes.

The celebrated photographer best-known for her in-depth documentary work, Mary Ellen Mark has produced some of the most delicately shaded studies of vulnerability ever set on film. For over four decades, she has traveled extensively to make influential pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism. Her works are imbued by truths about the humor, horror and joy of being alive.

After spending some time in Mexico with Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco he developed his characteristic style of sharps contrasts and a full tonal scale. The photograph Pepper #30 from 1930 is considered his seminal work since he managed to elevate a simple vegetable to a high art. Part of the series of close-up studies of different objects, the photograph shows a solitary green pepper in rich black and white tones, with strong illumination from above.

Editors’ Tip: Man Ray Hardcover by Guido Comis (Author), Marco Franciolli (Author) and Man Ray (Photographer)

Nowadays, black and white photography became a niche market for photographers who use the medium for prevalently fine art purposes. It is interesting to note that even the legendary Leica jumped back on this black and white train in 2013, by releasing the model of camera called the Leica M Monochrom, geared specifically towards the black and white imagery. Even the social media channels started to incorporate black and white topics into their advertising strategies. For instance, there is a Black and White Challenge group on Facebook, where the participating photographers ask each other to shoot and publish only monochrome photographs for a chosen number of days. They consider this approach a powerful constraint meant to inspire.

In black-and-white still photography, many photographers choose to shoot in solely black-and-white since the stark contrasts enhance the subject matter.

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The earliest television broadcasts were transmitted in black-and-white, and received and displayed by black-and-white only television sets.[1] Scottish inventor John Logie Baird demonstrated the world’s first color television transmission on July 3, 1928 using a mechanical process. Some color broadcasts in the U.S. began in the 1950s, with color becoming common in western industrialized nations during the late 1960s. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) settled on a color NTSC standard in 1953, and the NBC network began broadcasting a limited color television schedule in January 1954. Color television became more widespread in the U.S. between 1963 and 1967, when major networks like CBS and ABC joined NBC in broadcasting full color schedules. Some TV stations (small and medium) in the US were still broadcasting in B&W until the late 80s to early 90s, depending on network. Canada began airing color television in 1966 while the United Kingdom began to use an entirely different color system from July 1967 known as PAL. The Republic of Ireland followed in 1970. New Zealand began color broadcasting in 1973, and Australia experimented with color television in 1967 but continued to broadcast in black-and-white until 1975, and New Zealand experimented with color broadcasting in 1973 but didn’t convert until 1975. In China, black-and-white television sets were the norm until as late as the 1990s, color TVs not outselling them until about 1989. In 1969, Japanese electronics manufacturers standardized the first format for industrial/non-broadcast videotape recorders (VTRs) called EIAJ-1, which initially offered only black-and-white video recording and playback. While seldom used professionally now, many consumer camcorders have the ability to record in black-and-white.

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It is even used by amateurs who convert their Instagram color snapshots to black and white, in order to achieve a certain retro look. Given the fact that us humans see in color and black and white is not our primary mode of perception, is rendering photos monochrome perhaps an act of self-importance? Could it be a means of making photographs more memorable than their color counterparts?

In fact, monochrome film stock is now rarely used at the time of shooting, even if the films are intended to be presented theatrically in black-and-white. Movies such as John Boorman’s The General (1998) and Joel Coen’s The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) were filmed in color despite being presented in black-and-white for artistic reasons. Raging Bull (1980) and Clerks (1994) are two of the few well-known modern films deliberately shot in black-and-white. In the case of Clerks, because of the extremely low budget, the production team could not afford the added costs of shooting in color. Although the difference in film stock price would have been slight, the store’s fluorescent lights could not have been used to light for color. By shooting in black-and-white, the filmmakers did not have to rent lighting equipment.

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History Of Black And White Photography