Quotes About Black and White Photos

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Making powerful black and white photos is a skill separate from that of creating color photos, with the photographer needing to think about tones, lines and shading, alongside how colors translate into grayscale.

This article is full of quotes about black and white photos, with the hope that these black and white photo quotes inspire you to create your own stunning images, and explore the possibilities of black and white photography.


Inspirational Black and White Photo Quotes

black and white photo quote ansel adams

“Our lives at times seem a study in contrast … everything seen in absolutes of black & white. Too often we are not aware that it is the shades of grey that add depth & meaning to the starkness of those extremes.”

Ansel Adams

“One sees differently with color photography than black-and-white… in short, visualization must be modified by the specific nature of the equipment and materials being used.”

Ansel Adams

“For black and white landscapes I concentrate on the graphic elements of a scene, and the nature of the environment, whether it is stormy or tranquil.”

Antonia Deutsch
black and white photo quote mary ellen mark

“I work in color sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it.”

Mary Ellen Mark

“While the absence of color may contribute to our appreciation, at the same time it is important to assert that black and white is not photography minus color. Not at all.”

John Beardsworth

“Black and white photography has the potential to make any photographer a better photographer.”

Rob Sheppard
black and white photo quote jack antonoff

“Black and white creates a strange dreamscape that color never can.”

Jack Antonoff

“I think every subject deserves to be treated as just what they are, an individual. It’s quite often I will think ‘this is going to look great in black and white’ though. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a black and white photograph and thought ‘that would look great in color’.”

Dean Sherwood

“My experience of learning in the darkroom with black-and-white film had limitations that were helpful. There were fewer choices.”

Annie Leibovitz
black and white photo quote jason peterson

“Black and white photography erases time from the equation.”

Jason M. Peterson

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.”

Robert Frank
black and white photo quote Gian Marco Marano

“With black and white photography, what you have to say counts more than the way you say it.”

Gian Marco Marano

“To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.”

Andri Cauldwell
black and white photo quote elliott erwitt

“Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.”

Elliott Erwitt

“One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state.”

Paul Outerbridge

“Color tends to corrupt photography and absolute color corrupts it absolutely. Consider the way color film usually renders blue sky, green foliage, lipstick red, and the kiddies’ playsuit. These are four simple words which must be whispered: color photography is vulgar.”

Walker Evans
black and white photo quote Joel Sternfield

“Black and white is abstract; color is not. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world.”

Joel Sternfield

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls.”

Ted Grant

If these black and white photography quotes have inspired you to create your own pictures, then take a look at my free black and white presets for Lightroom, or see some of my related articles below.

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Who are the most famous abstract photographers?

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Follow Tim Daniels:

Hi, I'm Tim Daniels, photographer and photo trainer, founder of Lapse of the Shutter and creator of the totally free Lightroom Develop System. I've travelled to (probably) 30 countries over the last few years, taking photos and licensing them around the world, and creating lots of free photography learning resources. Read More ...

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