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Fine Art Black and White Photography

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Fine Art Photography

Fine Art Photography is produced in harmony with the vision of the artist as a photographer. Using photography as a visual medium to create something that lives in the artist’s mind. Simply capturing what you see in a creative way is the art of photography and not creating fine art.

Fine art photography stands in contrast to symbolic photography, such as photojournalism, which provides a documentary visual account of specific subjects or events, and commercial photography, where the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services.

Fine Art Photography takes the creative process to the edge of creativity and sometimes beyond.

Fine Art Black & White Photography

Black & White Photography or Monochrome Photography is an image recorded using the tones of grey from absolute black to white with shades of grey between. This is how it works with film, although in today’s world of digital, (if you do not have a special Black & White camera) you record your image in color and then through a process you convert the image to black & white.

In the film days I used a system by Ansel Adams and Minor White called The Zone System. This would calibrate your camera, lenses, and film stock with the processing of the film and printing to produce a true 10 tone zone black and white photograph.


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The Drama of Black & White

The first photo ever created was by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826, It was his view from an upstairs window at Niépce’s estate, Le Gras, in the Burgundy region of France. From this, black & white was born and continued to grow. Even today almost 200 years later, we still love black & white photography.

If you want the feeling of drama, a black & white photo will be more dramatic than a color photo. The title on my website says “Bring your walls to life with Dramatic Black & White.” There’s something timeless about black & white photography that draws people to view.

It’s really hard to beat that dramatic look when presented with the right subject matter and lighting.

Reflection Of Clouds

Technique of Black & White

Most people try turning their color images into black & white and get disappointed very quickly when they look muddy or flat. I hear others say “They’re often just far too much work and effort to get the look that I want.” It has a lot to do with the subject matter, composition, exposure and most of all lighting.

For example if you shoot against a deep blue sky you will get a rich black sky when converted as opposed to an overcast one. Shooting at noon will give you a very bright overhead light and extremely contrast subject matter that may be too much contrast unless you use supplemental lighting to help the contrast and harsh shadows.

Creating beautiful black & white is not a hit or miss, it’s knowing what works and what doesn’t.

Stunt Bike

Yes, it takes more time to produce a black & white over a color image, but the end result can be much more rewarding. If you want to add black & white images to your portfolio; I suggest you research and learn the techniques involved and experiment.


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Why Black & White?

There’s no reason why you would consider black & white as opposed to color; it’s all an objective vision. If you want a timeless or dramatic look then you should consider a black & white image or possibly a series of black and white images. Monochrome images matted and framed have a classy look that stands out and will inspire the viewer.

What’s important in a beautiful black & white image is the composition, lighting, perspective, and the subject matter that translates into an everlasting vision which the spectator sees and translates into a work of art. The old masters of Black & White would call a “pure image” which shows in a way that most color images cannot.

Dory Dock

Black and White Photography

Kevin has 40 + years’ experience as a director, photographer, cinematographer and editor. Winning over 200 awards of excellence in Commercial Advertising, Broadcast TV, and Fine Art Photography. You can see his Gallery of still photography on his website.

Check Kevin Cable’s Gallery

Kevin Cable


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