Thursday, June 10, 2010

Selling Black and White

Much has been written about the renaissance of black and white photography. Gallery prices are up, and more people are looking again at the masters such as Ansel Adams, Brett and Ed Weston, Minor White and others. The idea underlying fine art photography is that the photographer has aimed at something more moving, more descriptive than a mere realistic rendering of a moment in time. Black and white images by definition go beyond (color) realism. But beyond that, black and white strips a scene of distraction and renders to the viewer a revealing picture of subtle lines, patterns, repetitions and order. The best monochromes astound us with composition where everything plays a role, where the breadth of tonal range is explored, and where the organization of darks and lights produces balance and perspective. What could be more exciting?

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