The first color photograph dates back to 1861, but it wasn’t until the 1970s when it became the primary form of photography. Many assumed that once color photography was available to everyone, black and white photography would be relegated to niche genres or even forgotten all together. But much like film, monochromatic images are more alive than ever before. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to find a photography website that doesn’t include at least one black and white picture.
We could write a whole article with the reasons why black and white photography survived the passage of time and we’d still forget some. The most important, and evident, of them is the fact that we don’t see the world in black and white. Because of this, shooting monochromatic photos offers a whole different perspective of our surroundings.
Numerous photographers believe everyone should shoot black and white photos every so often. They concur that the lack of color pushes us to pay more attention to light, contrast, texture, and composition. And as such, it can help us improve our photography skills significantly. Still not convinced to give monochromatic images a try? These 25 outstanding black and white photography examples will surely make you fall in love with this technique.
Walking among giants
Don't forget to look up
Next time you are wandering around the streets of your city, raise your head towards the sky every so often. This shot by Ana is proof of the kind of views you’ve been missing out on all this time.
The world’s best submarine
Wildlife photography never ceases to amaze us. This amazing picture by Heidi Crundwell shows just how much elephants like water, and how they keep their trunks dry to breathe while they swim.
Is this the real life?
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Kary really did photograph someone levitating. This image is a perfect example of how black and white photography can be the perfect match for your creative photography ideas.
Modern stairway to heaven
Eyes are the window to the soul
The limit does not exist
Hear me roar
This wildlife portrait captured by Stew Nolan is the perfect example of how black and white photography can make anything look epic - even a sleepy yawn.
One with nature
The subtle art of people watching
Light in the shadows
Knowing how light works and affects your images is an absolute must. This image by Ivan Proskurin is the clear example of the impact that controlling light can have in portrait photography.
Mysteries and marvels of nature
Twenty-first century society
By getting rid of all color distractions and focusing on light and contrast, Jan Daga was able to shoot a casual portrait that perfectly captures what society has become.
Simplicity is key
Challenge your vision
The bright side of commuting
Catching a train is usually a pain in the neck. Crowds, delays, bad weather, overall exhaustion... The next time you find yourself in one of these situations, use some of your waiting time and follow Céline Marie’s steps to take the opportunity to put your photography skills into practice.
Love is all you need
Compassion goes a long way
Photography is an incredibly powerful tool to raise awareness about welfare, environmental, and social issues. This heartbreaking shot by Christel Mitchell is the epitome of how an image is worth a thousand words.
It comes and goes in waves
One of the less-known, but still amazing capabilities of black and white photography is how well they complement different media forms. Julien Delaval used this photo as his photography website’s home page, and it perfectly shows the endless possibilities of combining photography and web design.
The vitruvian athlete
Build bridges, not walls
Find your focus
You never know, dear, how much I love you
When searching for family portrait ideas, black and white photography might not even cross your mind. But a single look at this heartwarming image captured by Donatella Nicolini will most likely result in a change of heart for you.
Harald Wittig’s use of black and white in this urban scene, paired with the lack of people and movement, feels like a breath of fresh air in a time where everyone seems to be running from one place to another.
Ready to give black and white images a try? Create a photography website and share the results with the world!