Academic journal article Social Alternatives

Art Is Nature

Academic journal article Social Alternatives

Art Is Nature

Article excerpt

Black and white or monochromatic images are the classic photographic medium, effective on form, texture, lines and more importantly tonality and contrast. Black and white photography is considered by many to be the purest form of this art, as it showcases what photography was like before the invention of Kodachrome in 1936. Black and White photography creates depth, expression and emotion. Freidman (2008) advocates that the lack of colour in photographs helps images stand out with a unique ability to communicate a feeling, rather than turning to vibrant hues for an appealing visual presentation. Black and White photography is not simply a result of old technology of a bygone era. We can learn much about black and white photography from past famous photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Ansell Adams and so many others who paved the way before us. In particular, Karl Blossfeldt an early 19C German photographer, sculptor and amateur botanist celebrated by the Surrealists and early Modernists for his pioneering close-up images of plants and flora. The philosopher Walter Benjamin declared that Karl Blossfeldt's: 'photographed plants look like works of art imitating nature; we can recognise formal elements of ornamental and decorative arts in them' (Elo 2007).

According to Freidman, black and white photography 'depends only on its ability to communicate rather than on its appealing visual presentation' (Freidman 2008). …

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