For many people, black-and-white photography triggers subconscious emotions. People often intuitively find the photographs more artistic, purist, or simply feel reminded of their childhood and the associated age of analog photography.
Emotions and photo statement
Originally present in all fields, black-and-white photography is now mostly found only in connection with artistic portraits, high-speed photography, astrophotography or in the scientific environment.
In contrast to color photography, a grayscale photo is particularly suitable for bringing a specific subject into focus or for underscoring a specific photo statement. Monochrome photos are also particularly suitable for capturing emotions and moods of one or more protagonists. With negative topics such as war and suffering, the black and white photo is often used because it manages to underline the desired gloomy mood.
On the other hand, smiles and distinctive facial features can also be strongly emphasized and brought into focus by this technique. Previously unnoticed details suddenly become important, even essential for the photo statement.
Black and white photography with Photoshop
It makes a difference whether you are using a film camera with black and white film, pure black and white digital cameras, or converting ordinary digital color photographs to black and white in Photoshop. Factors such as proper saturation, channel mixer, and especially contrast play an important role. If you rely on Photoshop’s automatic black and white conversion, you will usually get a result that corresponds to the camera’s internal grayscale mode and is therefore not really suitable for high-quality black and white photography.