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The power of Black and White

I don’t know if you have noticed but for the past weeks I have almost only be posting black and white images on my facebook page and Google plus. I don’t know, I guess I am in a black and white mood.


I also understand more and more that Black and white has such a power to reveal a subject into one image. It is said that color photography shows people clothes, while black and white photography shows people’s souls. And I do agree with that.

comparing a color and a black and white photo

If there are no vibrant, dynamic, essential colors to be lost on a photo, why not turning it to black and white and reveal the essence of our subject, helping the eyes to get to the eyes faster, getting rid of what is not needed?

Please be active on the comments below, we can have some interesting discussions about it.



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Founder of Pics of Asia, Etienne is a teacher with a photography habit.


  1. Jan on March 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Love the black and whites and I do a lot of converting myself but I also like to play around with a red filter on the lens when shooting in black and white instead of converting. It is incredible to look at what a red filter does, especially in landscape photography – big skys and cloud formations that we get here become so much more dramatic.

    • Etienne on March 28, 2014 at 1:55 am

      That is indeed a great way to do so, it used to be the only way before digital. But the filter will only give you one result, while you can be flexible on how dramatic you’d like to skies to be on post processing.
      It’s like shooting color or black and white? Shooting black and white will often give you one result, while shooting black and white will allow you to turn your photos to B&W in so many different ways.

  2. Anthony Pond on March 31, 2014 at 2:43 am

    I agree wholeheartedly with your post. As you know I’m a big fan of B&W. Unless color is critical as an element, or to add separation between elements I generally convert to B&W. I find too many people tend to oversaturate their color images which usually draws attention from the main subject. That said, I find color with a limited palette can be very effective. Monochrome, however, yields a timeless quality to an image as it strips away one layer of reality and can add an emotional impact not matched with color.

    • Etienne on April 1, 2014 at 1:56 am

      Well said Anthony. That being said, colors can add a certain feeling to a photo even though there are not that critical. Like the young boy picture I recently posted, where the color palette is quite muted, but the brownish and greenish tones repeat themselves in the subject and background. I felt losing something when converting it to BW.

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