SEE­ING IN BLACK AND WHITE

NPhoto - - Feature -

Some pho­tog­ra­phers see the world in black and white, while oth­ers are drawn to colour. Few do both well. Eliot Porter un­der­stood this: “When Ansel Adams pho­to­graphs some­thing, he sees it as a black-and­white im­age right away, and so he pho­to­graphs it that way. I see it as a colour im­age right away.” Adams is known for cre­at­ing prints with a rich, full range of tones, from deep black to bril­liant white. This con­trast helps con­vey the drama that his images are fa­mous for. But his images aren’t harsh. The ar­eas of pure black or white are usu­ally quite small, with a full spec­trum of greys in be­tween. As Adams said, “Mar­vel­lous ef­fects are pos­si­ble within a close and sub­tle range of val­ues” Mak­ing good black-and­white pho­to­graphs re­quires vi­su­al­is­ing the re­la­tion­ships be­tween lighter and darker tones. The most ef­fec­tive images of­ten use a clear jux­ta­po­si­tion of light against dark or dark against light.

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