The justification for monochrome

There’s the element of timelessness. Black and white images come across as dreamlike, almost unreal. And that’s an artistic choice you have in today’s digital imaging technology. Unlike before in the early years of photography where your only choice was a black and white roll of film, today you can easily shift from black and white to color in your digital camera. Again we go back to the photographer’s judgment. As I said in a previous post, its the photographer’s choice. How he presents his image, from the full glory and splendor of color to the mysterious and dramatic effect of black and white, is a decision he has to determine. The primary consideration is why should we shoot in black and white?


1. To go back to the roots. You have to move forward in your photographic journey and improve and better yourself. But you have to be aware and look back from whence the medium came from, and that is in the world of black and white photography. Give homage and reverence from where it all started.
2. To heighten our senses and photographic awareness. The lack of natural color forces us to see the interesting and essential – forms, shapes, texture, patterns, light. That’s basically all we have to look out for.
3. To engage our creative and artistic side. Because we are compelled to look for primary elements, we strive to be imaginative in our composition and innovative in our presentation.

There may be many other reasons why we should go for monochrome, and these reasons can be diverse and far-ranging. I have proclaimed before that I am a disciple of color but at the same time I’m also an avid practitioner of the art of black and white. Which is why to organize my blog postings here I have reserved Saturdays and Sundays as “monograph weekends.” This is to give myself the space and opportunity to go back to a revered medium, to challenge myself, and to explore further the world and boundaries beyond color.


2 responses

  1. Black and white is always classic anytime, anywhere, regardless of subject, time, pattern, or persuasion. Thank you. I agree with all your reasons. When my daughter first took up photography in high school, they were made to do only black and white and use non-digital cameras.

    March 17, 2013 at 1:07 am

    • Junsjazz

      That’s a great training and experience for your daughter Mary-Ann! Thanks and a Blessed Sunday to you and your family!

      March 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm

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