Black and white
The Kodak was the first ever camera
invented, the camera took black and white shots
only which I feel was originally the start of black
and white photography within the year of
1878.Even though in 1861 a method was created
so that coloured images could be made, But still
people preferred using black and white as it was
cheaper, Quicker and less time consuming.
History of It?
People do say that the first ever black
and white photo was taken by
Nicéphore Niépce in 1826, but I feel
the first ever proper photo was by
Louis Daguerre in 1839.
Within the early days of photography, black and white images
were produced regularly until colour images were invented in
1861. But now black and white image has proven itself over
the decades as being extremely popular within a range of
different technique, For example expressing emotions, in
portraits, within magazines, Portraying detail, illustrating time
as it goes by and lastly being unique. Within the next few sides
I will be look at this theme through a range of photographers
showing development in years .
Henri Cartier Bresson 1930’sHenri Cartier-Bresson (August 22, 1908 – August 3, 2004) he was a French
photographer who had a strong love for photojournalism, his main
inspiration in 1930 was Martin Munkacsi after viewing one of his pieces.
Within this collection of images the theme that I feel has been highlighted is
abstract and body language , my favourite is the one with the boy carrying
the bottles, I can tell by the surrounding within the image that it’s from the
past and I do believe it’s trying to show a story, of a deprived little boy who
has hardly had anything within his life, then finally he has found some money
or gain some and has chosen to spend it on some bottles maybe filled with
some of his favourite juice. Overall I really like this image because it expresses
his strong body language and emotions clearly shown as being very
happy, relaxed and confident. It also show the littlest of thing can make
someone very happy.
Toni Frissell -1939
Toni Frissell (10th march 1907 –April 17th 1988) was an American
photographer and was famously known for her fashion, world war 2 and
portrait photography. Some of her portrait photos featured famous
Americans and Europeans, children, and women from all walks of life. I
believe her work is very abstract and expresses a range of body language.
I picked her because I liked the old/vintage style she portrayed throughout her
pieces and also by her being one of the older and more experienced photographers
within the 19th century all of her photography is in black and white and greyscale
, Which I feel results in a lot more detail and emotions being captured, for example
within the piece featuring the boy along side the rumble, to us as viewers the
photo suggests a theme of Loss or sadness certainly as it was within the world war.
Also the photo expresses a range of detail and I am drawn to the face, especially
the eyes. By having the photo in black and white it’s definitely better as the
textures, detail, shapes and ranges of tone within the frame are the focal point.
This picture is another one of my favourites as
the light is directly shining within her
eyes, this expresses a strong composition
within her face and again emotions are being
highlighted as being happy, excited or
Ralph Gibson- 1950
Ralph Gibson was born on the 16th January 1939 was known as a American
photographer, he also is very vintage within the theme of black and white
photography and gets his main inspiration from studying other cultures.
I like the range of images I have chosen as they express the theme of abstract , also
Gibson's work features a lot of hands portraying body language like some of the
another photographers. My favourite piece is the one with the man/woman with the
guitar, I like it because of the detail within it, by Gibson using a wide shot instead of a
close up it has captured the baby’s hand rising which I feel is very successful and also
portrays a story. By using the black and white image I feel it highlights the emotions
more than a coloured image would , as it sets the picture portraying poverty, love and
Paul Strand 1960’sPaul Strand (October 16, 1890 – March 31, 1976) was an American photographer, who
had a strong love for photography as he helped establish it as an art form. He focused
on using very abstract objects and using people.
This photographer uses very abstract objects
and also focuses on detail. One of my favourite
piece is the one with the stairs, I like it because
of the shadow line, This allows the composition
to be very strong and overall becomes a
professional outcome using different tones of
I also like the piece featuring the old lady’s
hands, within the image a lot of detail has been
captured like for example the winkles and the
structure of her hands. I like it because it’s very
different to other pieces I have seen and by the
photographer using a dark background it has
made the hands standout as the focus point of
the image. Also as a viewer when I saw the
image I was immediately drawn to her hand.
Sally Mann- 1967
Sally Mann is an American photographer who produces large black and with photos
mainly of children, landscapes and sometimes decay and death. Sally is also a very
vintage and experienced photographer and started from an early age of 17, she is
mostly famous for the photograph called “Candy Cigarette”.
I like this picture “Candy cigarette” in a range of different
ways, the first being the detail captured within face by doing
this it’s expresses a range of different emotions like relaxed
etc, the second being the shapes she is making with her arms
are very pleasing to the eye and draws me as a viewer. Thirdly
By using black and white the girl standout as a foreground
against the black background. The finally reason why I like
this image is because of a little story being told as she is
wearing white it’s suggest she is very innocent ,pure and
basically an angel , but within this image it’s reflected
I picked this image because I liked the strong
layout captured, I also feel the textures were
quite strong /worn and overall I feel the image
reflects the theme of abstract , for example the
brick wall and also the white wall art.
Jerry Uelsmann 1995Jerry N. Uelsmann was born on the 11th June 1934, he is
an American photographer.Right from an early age jerry
wanted to do redo photographs and he had a method in
order to create photos by visualizes the outcome. The
main influences were Harry Callahan, Frederic
Sommer, Wynn Bullock and Edward Western who gave
him visions to explore.
All of Jerry Uelsmann’s work is very surreal and I feel
reflects the theme of abstract. I do like all of these
images, but my favourite is the one with the cupped
hands showing the boat , I like it because it works well
as the composition is perfect due to black background
and the hand being within the foreground, also the
colour gives the image a surreal scene within a person
hands, overall I feel this image is very successful as it’s
unique and captures a site of meaning.
Benoit Courti 2010Benoit Courti is a French photographer living in Paris. He has been Fascinated in photography
since his childhood, he first had a career as a music composer before becoming a professional
portrait/art photographer in 2010.He a very Morden photographer within the theme of black
I picked this photographer as he was quite modern.
When researching I picked a range of his work shown
above, the best picture I feel is the one with the tear
dropping down the baby/child’s face as to me as a
observer it expresses emotions , by using the close up
it captures the detail within the tear and person side
of face. I like the way black and white has been used I
believe to portray the light and dark tones and to
capture light within the tear to make it standout as a
Overall this was my favourite photographer
as throughout his work his style was
reflected as being different .
How has it Developed?
I do feel black and white photography has developed very well since
this selection photographers of pieces….
For example the photographer Sally Mann is has been quite popular ever since she has
experimented with black and white photography from the early years of 1960’s, epically her work
candy Cigarette. This piece over the years had thousands of positive reviews and people have
interrupted it through several different ways, for example Robert Quoted “A remarkable photo by
Ms. Mann, it really grabbed me and made me want to see more of her work". I do feel overall this
piece has impacted on the 20th century as Observers didn’t know the full story of the image, I feel
it was composited to emphasises this and to let the viewers create there own stories. Today this
has been included within black and white photography I feel to express different means between
the photographer and Viewers.
Another example is the photographer Henri Cartier Bresson who has also become very
popular since his movement shot of the man on the bike riding by, Ever since this was taken
in 1930’s I do feel more people have experimented with the technique of capturing
movement within shutter speed, for example when I was researching on the internet I
found out that million's of people Amateurs professional and even beginners are taking
movement shots every day, Overall I do feel this piece of Henri did impact today’s Figure as
people though of his work being unique.
How do they all link?
I feel all of these photographers link in some away through these
•Body language portrayed
•Several photographers use hands alot.
Jerry Uelsmann and Bencoit Courti link through the use of
Also Toni Frissell, Henri Cartier Bresson and Sally Mann link
through the uses of body language within there work.
Lastly Ralph Gibson, Henri Cartier Bresson and Paul Strand all
Link because of the theme of Abstract.