Read “Bill Brand’s Art of the Documentary” by David Campany
Core resource: Campany_BillBrant.pdf
Write a short summary in your learning log. How did B&W become such a respected and trusted medium in documentary?
Over many years B&W pictures were the norm people didn’t want anything else the black and white image delivered the information the viewer required in a clean, uncluttered manner, in the same way, the tabloid newspapers use simple, clear text to tell the story keeping large and complicated words to a minimum.
Around 1940 the colour slide made an appearance, people started to get used to colour pictures, but most people still made B&W and the man in the street could use his own developing equipment and show his skills off to friends and family. So the black and white became loved not just by the newspapers but by the people themselves it was a trusted medium because they could have excess to it or knew someone that could.
Now black and white Images have the respect that colour as not yet obtained although it is gaining ground, because of its nature it is cluttered with information that sometimes is not needed so the artist/Journalist/Blogger/Activist will revert back to black and white to deliver direct details and a clear message. For some, the black and white Image holds more emotion than the colour Image for this reason brides will often ask if the pictures of the wedding can be done in black and white. I do think Black and white will lose out in the end and become if not already a niche.
Black and white Photography needs more time to be considered when viewing because the information you get from colour isn’t there, the context required to make the shot tell the story is important more so than colour. B and W Photography Is holding on It will never go away because there are famous and skilled photographers that have gone before and those that have yet to come. Ansel Adams (20 Feb 1902 April 1984) Diane Arbus (14 March 1923 26 July 1971) Robert Capa (22 Oct 1913 25 May 1954) Henrie Cartier Bresson (22 Aug 1907 3 Aug 2004) to name but a few. People love black and white photography its nostalgic it generates memories from the past people think in black and white the medium creates narratives in black and white. What the people that have been brought up with colour think in 20 or 30 years time, will B and W hold the same respect as it seems to now?