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5 Things to Love about Black and White Photography

5 Things to Love about Black and White Photography

On Superfine Prints, you’ll find dozens of black and white photography art prints for sale, with something for every taste and budget. Our photographers come from all over the world, spanning fields as diverse as street and documentary, abstract and landscape.

Monochrome photography is enjoying a serious renaissance these days. Just take a look at your Instagram feed, where hashtags like #blackandwhiteisworththefight, #blackandwhite_perfection, or #blackandwhiteonly prove time and again that monochrome photography has a prominent place in the digital age. Here are just four things we’ll always love about the genre.

A Connection to History

Photography has been around for fewer than two centuries, but in that time, so much has changed and evolved. When we keep our focus only “the next best thing,” we lose touch with our roots. Every time someone creates a black and white photograph, they’re engaging with history. Shoot a monochrome landscape, and you’re reaching through time to contribute the legacy that first began in Yosemite National Park with Ansel Adams; capture a spontaneous moment in the streets of Paris, and you’re honoring the memory of Henri Cartier-Bresson.

An Eye Toward the Future

This point might seem to be at odds with the above, but we promise it’s not. While black and white photography can serve as a nod to the past, it doesn’t belong in the past. In the 1970s, color photography was considered unusual; it was the sole domain of advertising, and fine artists rarely dared to dabble in Kodachrome. But as color photography has rose to prominence, the tables have turned: color is expected, and black and white is radical. When you choose to decorate your home or office with black and white artwork prints, you’re choosing the road less traveled. While you might be honoring tradition, you’re also breaking the status quo, and that’s as modern as it gets.

The Quality of Light

Nothing beats a play of light in black and white. Without the distraction of colors, shadows come to life. The legendary art critic John Berger once said, “What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time,” and the best black and white photographs illustrate his words perfectly. Consider the works of the famous black and white photography artist Vivian Maier, who only became well-known after her death in 2009. She made thousands upon thousands of images in the streets of Chicago, NYC, and LA, highlighting the strange and beautiful rays and shadows that defined their streets.

A Lasting Impression

When you’re looking to grow your art collection, one of the key things to consider is the longevity of the pieces you purchase. We’re not just talking about the quality of the paper, though that’s crucial; we’re also referring to the image itself. You don’t want to buy into a passing fad; instead, invest in work that will continue to inspire you as the years go by. The black and white photography art prints for sale on Superfine Prints are timeless, and they’re works of art you’ll want to keep forever. Trends might come and go, but a classic photo in black and white never goes out of style.

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