Although color photography is arguably more ubiquitous these days than black and white photography, that wasn’t always the case. The first color photograph came on the scene in 1861 when a man named Thomas Sutton created it. Before that, black and white photography reigned supreme. This article from Adobe can tell you more about how color photography came into being. Even when I first became interested in photography many many (too many) years ago, black and white was still the way to go. In fact, I was still using black and white film to complete both classwork and newspaper assignments when I was studying photojournalism at the Missouri School of Journalism about 20 years ago.
My point is that black and white photography has never really been completely overwhelmed by the advent of color photography. To this day, there are many prominent photographers working both in the art field as well as photojournalism who prefer to use black and white film. If I’m being honest, I have to say that black and white photography is my preferred medium. I find that it strips things down to their essence and can sometimes be much more effective in transmitting emotion than color photography. That isn’t always the case, though. There is a lot of color photography that does the same thing. But, again being honest, at least in my opinion, it is far more difficult to make compelling color photographs. It is a testimony to the skill of the best color photographers who are able to do that and I have great admiration for them.
Now, having said all of that, today I’m happy to highlight the winners and finalists of the Independent Photographer’s (an international network of photography enthusiasts & photographers) Black & White Photography contest. In a statement provided to In Sight, the purpose of the contest is described as, “Regardless of genres, we wanted to celebrate the beauty and wealth of Black & White photography. Be it in street, fashion, portrait, landscape, documentary, or any other form of photography: we wanted to be moved and inspired.”
This year’s contest was judged by Dutch photographer Bastiaan Woudt. An accomplished photographer in his own right, Woudt’s work is represented in Amsterdam by the Kahmann Gallery and in Atlanta by Jackson Fine Art. In addition, his work has been widely exhibited and it has also been featured in magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, the British Journal of Photography, GUP and Vogue. More information about this year’s contest can be found, here.
Without further ado, here are some this year’s winners and finalists:
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