What’s The Message?

What is in a black and white photo?

In my opinion its many things, stark contrast, separation, focus, but mostly to me its pure message.  That’s what I see in a black and white photo.  Sometimes making striking color photos into black and white can deliver the message quicker, easier and cuts down on distraction. How does it speak to you?  Solitude, quiet, peaceful, protecting?  You decide.


If you are after the “message” color photos offer a lot, in terms of a great deal of pop, panache, and evoking the senses.  Black and white photography can deliver a message better in terms of focus, attention, and mood.


Focusing in on specifics to deliver a sense of powerful, yet stark subject perspectives is a very huge challenge.  With most people having a smartphone these days its easier than ever to snap pictures with decent clarity, color and action.  Plus it takes away all of the guesswork and frustrations of manual photography.  Sometimes going back has allowed me to find a message in an image and create a center of gravity around it.

Here I want to highlight intricate crystal work verses color, shine and pop.   Its powerful, yet transports you right to the detail.


Some photos require a bit of work to get them where I need them to convey its message.  That happens a great deal in photos that have many colors that are the same or similiar, like gray skies, gray water and white swans.  So developing a path to the message can sometimes be difficult.  What I do is spend some time searching for the message until it comes to me.  Here we see love.


Sometimes you just can’t make the message work, and a black and white rendering is not the best way to deliver what you want.  You have to go farther and know how your work can compare side by side.


Considering all factors when creating a black and white photo takes time, research, a lot of trial and error and practice.


Post your favorite black and white photo and tell why you chose it and how you came to pick it as your favorite.