Here's an example of an image I made at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island. I liked the texture of the wall, the combination/contrast of curved lines and straight ones, and the shadowing.
The focal point is the iron ring. That's where I want your eye to go first. But, if you're like me, your eye probably went first to the green patch of paint on the left.
If my photo is all about texture, curves, lines, and shadows, what does GREEN PAINT SPLOTCH have to do with anything? Nothing. And that's the beauty of black and white photography.
Black and white images take away the distraction of color and enable your viewers to see and appreciate what drew you to an image in the first place. In the black and white picture, your eye probably went immediately to the iron ring, maybe back and forth along the strong horizontal line, and slid lazily down the curve bottom right.
Notice how the smooth patch in the black and white shot is no longer the distraction it was as a big green rectangular shape in the color version.
It's often the case that we see in color, but we notice the artistry in black and white. (And ooh, didn't that sound terrific? You can quote me on that!)
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