Black and white is just contrast. Some say those two are not even colors. They are light or the lack thereof. But not color. Yet we can do so much with them. The whole world can be perceived in black and white. And it will still make sense most of the time. Even though you are missing millions of nuances. But is that really that bad?
After visiting the Peter Lindbergh Exhibition in Munich, I got inspired to play more with black and white. Mr. Lindbergh shot almost all of his most famous works in black and white. They are reduced to the emotions captured in the frame. You don’t get overwhelmed by the colors. It’s all narrowed down to the most existential. Forms. Lines. Contrast. And the subject.
I would not want to miss colors. I am happy that I can see colors. I can’t even begin to imagine how it would be not to have colors in life. Not being able to see all the ridiculous notions. The blue in the water. The shades of green in forests. The striking contrasts in a beautiful scene of neon lights in the streets of New York. And the great work of colors on photo platforms. A black and white profile on Instagram? It’s not as breathtaking as it’s colorful counterpart in most cases.
Yet, a portrait? The specific photo. The moment captured. Frozen in time. A laugh. An expression. Emotion! It’s incredible. It’s breathtaking, and it’s something that could easily be destroyed by color. It’s distracting. It’s pulling me out of the moment. Out of the feelings.
I want to work more with the contrast and the shades of grey that hide in between black and white. I want to concentrate on the details. The feelings. And the small notions. I’m interested in trying new perspectives. New profiles. Different looks.
To spark this, even more, I’m interested in your favorite B&W art? Do you know an Instagram profile, a photographer that works mostly with black and white, or maybe your own work with contrast?
Mads Mikkelsen - Marc o’Polo Campaign 2016
For me? As of right now, I would pick these two portraits by Peter Lindbergh. I’m curious - what’s your favorite B&W artist or photographs are? Do you have one that immediately comes to mind? Please share them with me on Twitter, Telegram, or Instagram. I’d love to discover some new art.