Tristan Parker Photography

Journal

Use of White in Black and White Photography

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I think that the use of black as a theme in black and white is something that is done a lot. The use of white on the other hand is something that does not present itself as an option as often. This is something that I recently raised in the Faceless submission that can be seen here. The image that was selected as an example of the use of white in that post was by Francesca Fascione, an amazingly talented Street Photographer from Italy. The image is below.

As I stated in the write up on this image there was always something that drew me to the shot. I went a long way to describe the fact that Francesca has displayed a great amount of technical talent in being able to salvage the detail in the highlights in the sky and the horizon. It is an amazing photo.

When I asked Francesca for a copy of the image for this post she was also kind enough to send me another image.

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This is another fine example of the use of white in a great image. There is added intrigue with this shot due to the individuals that are in the window. It leaves you wondering what it is that they are doing. The directions of all the arrows on the top right of the image also works well in helping to allow the image to talk to you. Again Francesca has shown great skill in retaining highlights in the white wall of what I assume is a boat.

Another fine example that I came across recently is the image below by Laura Mexia. This was submitted to the Black and White Street Group, and the fine texture of the cobbles along with the black lines created by the railings merge to generate a very strong image that is pleasing to the eye with a strong focus on what rather than black. The reflections of the railings on the glass walls also works well to add a little detail to the image.

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I dont know what it is that draws me to these images at the moment, but they are examples of street work that I find myself searching out at the moment.

Maybe its the fact that we dont get snow in Australia unless its on the high mountains. I know that some other examples of the use of white happen in the Northern winters. Maybe its the fact that in Australia at the moment we are coming out of Summer and I have been blessed with an abundance of strong sunny light that creates dark black shadows and hence this is the focus of my work at the moment. Maybe as the season changes and I dont have this stark light available this is something that I will naturally start to find.

I think that all of the examples above are strong in the fact that they maintain the detail and are not just blown out highlights like some other attempts I have seen at this look.

I dont know, but I do know that I think that its something that I would like to try and exploit in my work as well.