Black & White Photography

Black & White Photography

Wouter van den Eijkel , Redacteur Gallery Viewer

Dutch photographer Paul Huf once apptly pointed out the difference between a black and white and a color photo. According to Huf, a colour photo fills in everything for the viewer, while a black and white image leaves room for imagination. That could be a good explanation as to why many photographers still prefer the tonality of the gray scale over colour. Since the rise of digital photography, this has become a purely aesthetic preference. Rather than being a limiting concept, anything goes in possible and black and white. This is also evident from the diversity of the offerings: from the stylized work of Bastiaan Woudt to the analogue photos of extinct places by Gerry Johansson, the portraits that Robin de Puy made of the people she met during her road trip by the US or the beautiful monument that Dana Lixenberg erected for the residents of the Imperial Courts district in Los Angeles. For a long time the status of black and white film among photographers was unassailable. Working in colour was something for advertisements or fashion magazines, but it was not taken seriously as an art form. This only gradually changed from the 1960s onwards, which partly explains why the market for vintage black and white prints is bigger than that of colour prints. Vintage prints usually concern a single copy that is offered. With so-called estate prints - prints made after the death of a photographer - and contemporary work, editions are common.