It’s difficult to define exactly what elevates an image from run of the mill to art. Feeling and emotion have a lot to do with it. If you stir something in the viewer, make them react – either positively or negatively – then you’re well on your way. Working in black and white can achieve that in itself, simply because it allows us to take a step back from reality and throw off the shackles of familiarity, but you need to do more than simply remove colour to create an artistic black-and-white image.
The quality of light can make a difference. Think about how light and weather affect your state of mind. When the sun’s shining and fluffy white clouds are drifting across the sky, the world is warm and welcoming and we feel positive. The opposite applies on a stormy day, when the sky is as dark as hell and shafts of sunlight burst through inky clouds to light up the landscape like the fingers of a god. Such conditions make us feel threatened and uneasy.
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October 10, 2019