For the first 100 Years, all  Photography was Black and White. The chemistry required to capture images in realistic colour was invented in the early 20th Century but almost all pictures were taken in B/W until well into the 1950s.


Magazines used Colour on the front page from the 50s onwards but newspapers didn't print  colour pages and photos until the 1990s.


 


1838

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Arlette and Bibi, Cannes, 1927

Jacques Henri Lartigue

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Black & White has traditionally been associated with News and Documentary photography. The high contrast and use of a monochrome tonal range is often perceived as being more truthful or realistic.

WW1 Trenches

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Falling Soldier Spain 1936  Robert Capa 

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Salgado

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Abbas

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The story of Black & White photography is the story of CONTRAST. The tonal range from the darkest part of the image - to the lightest part of the image. How photographers work with this to create stark and graphic images. Always associated with Reportage and News Photography as well as Fine Art and Portraiture. Colour is not a distraction for the B&W photographer - what matters is the relationship between Highlight and shadow. Light and Dark  

Fan Ho  Hong Kong 

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Minor White

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Trent Parke

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Converting to Black and white - this time with a Sepia toner removes distracting background colours. 

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2015

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Using Format