Snobbery of Black and White

"If you see the world in black and white you lack grey matter"

A significant majority of award winning work in photography is done in black and white. If you are not shooting black and white the chances of your work being ever published by a respected publisher is slim. The attachment to black and white is obvious - black and white hits you right in the gut which is a basic requirement for inspiring a large number of people. It hits you in the gut because a black and white image is devoid of any context or aesthetic beauty. Black and white images present the facts as is with no seasoning of worldly ideas. Black and white images draw on a basic flaw in human reasoning of ignoring the law of causality; a flaw that permeates in to the entire basis of human psychology. The choice of black and white over natural means of presentation indicate a human willingness and even inclination to see the world in binary/yes/no/0/1. This is in stark contrast to human perception which is almost always in a quantum state .i.e capable of seeing and processing many variables at the same time and place; to the extent that human mind can also reconcile the idea of superpositions, thats is a yes can be no and a no can be yes - we experience this daily in our lives. 
What then motivates photographers, curators, editors and publishers to choose black and white images over equally moving colour images? Perhaps it presents a different perspective.The foundation of photography is based on presenting the information in a way that we are not used to consuming. Without going in to the deeper reasons I have often advised photographers to not shoot at eye level, thats the level we are used to seeing the world any way. However the other basic tenet of an award winning series of work is that it has to be as close to reality as possible; Black and white images break those rules. Black and white images present the facts but present no context to interpret those facts. Their in lies the beauty and the enjoyment of black and white photography….it present the facts and leave the interpretation of those facts to the observer. Its the choice that a black and white images offer that makes it appealing and some times endearing to the observer. 
A photographer/artist aspire to inspire but the viewers require choice, its up to every photographer to present the gift of choice through their work.

Posted on July 28, 2014 and filed under Lifestyle.