Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Black And White Glamour Photography Creates Modern Classics.

Once relegated to news photography after the advent of color film, black and white glamour photography experienced a revival in the last two decades. Advocates in favor of black and white glamour photography acknowledge the images of the silver screen goddesses. Their beauty was undiminished by the lack of colorization.

Black and white glamour photography uses a combination of light and shadow to accentuate the image. Desolation can be made all the more desolate in black and white. Beauty can be relieved of cosmetic enhancement, leaving only 'true' beauty to be seen on the film.

Outside of personal portraits, the largest contributors and consumers of black and white glamour photography is the beauty industry. Marketing everything from fitness to fashion from cosmetics to cleansers, the composition has a softer edge and even skin tones seem more refined. Blemishes are less noticeable and the hairstyle, shape and body become pronounced with only the varying shades of light or dark to differentiate it.

Unique perhaps to black and white glamour photography is the emotions provoked. Generations mark the passage of time by admiring aspects of the past. Usually the past is viewed as simpler, more honest time when the idiosyncrasies of the present were not a deeply flawed part of the social psyche.

One way to study the effects of black and white glamour photography is to take color shots and have them turned into black and white. Compare the two images. They are identical in subject, composure and timing. Yet the two images will offer radically different appeals to the viewer.

Black and white glamour photography might offer a naïve sense of a better way. Certainly marketing around such an emotion would benefit. Whether a product truly is reminiscent of that simpler time, the black and white glamour photography offers emotional comfort to the visual sense. It could be argued that the absence of color in visual world dominated by color causes a person to truly consider the photograph with more than cursory glance, noticing subjective elements that may have never been noticed in color before.