We see our world in color and still, black and white images look more “real” than their color counterparts.
This question has crossed my mind several times. Recently I happened to read this beautiful quote in a magazine. And I tried to look for one of the possible answers to this question in that quote, which goes like…
“There are three phases of awareness: to look, to see and to perceive; A camera looks. A mind sees. A heart perceives.”
Perhaps, even though we “look at” the world around us in color, when we take deeper interest in the subject we look at, try to understand its significance, in other words, when we actually “see it”, the colors slowly start fading away and by the time we reach the level of“perceiving the essence” of that subject- be it some person, object or event, the colors cease to exist at all!
At this stage what remains in front of us is the very elemental reality of that subject and what our heart is left with, is the unique mood created by it.
Perhaps this is why, in real life too, we tend to forget colors, even if the event, person or scene in question is itched in our memory forever.
Black & white photographs talk directly to the heart. The first phase of awareness –“looking” is often very short in their case. When we look at a black and white photograph, we can directly “see” the subject matter, and then we go on to “perceive” its meanings! A black & white photograph lets the subject speak for itself and this is the primary characteristic that makes black & white images so impactful.
When you perceive a frame in black & white, you can approach the subject with an altogether different level of grace. In the absence of colors you have only two things to tell a story. One- the shades of grey, and Two- the shapes available in the frame, making the story-telling a challenging task indeed. The artistic endeavor a photographer passes through in bringing out the shapes of the subject translates into this unique honesty that only black and white images have about them.
The art of creating black and white images is absolutely beautiful, yet delicate enough to be difficult – Just like the art of molding clay and creating elegant shapes out of it!
The images featured here belong to a growing gallery of www.lensdepictions.com –“Black & White Fine Art Images”.
The gallery contains several black and white artistic images available for sale as Royalty-free/Rights Managed Stock Photos. Explore the complete gallery here.
Images & Article © 2012 Gyaneshwari Dave
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