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12 Best Black and White Photography Quotes

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Today, we are looking at the world of monochrome photography and the best black and white quotes.
What is it that black and white photography can offer us?
Read our 12 best black and white quotes and you’ll understand.

12. Philip Jones Griffiths on B&W vs Colour

“Let’s assume that all the cassettes of monochrome film Cartier-Bresson ever exposed had somehow been surreptitiously loaded with color film. I’d venture to say that about two-thirds of his pictures would be ruined and the remainder unaffected, neither spoiled nor improved. And perhaps one in a thousand enhanced.” – Philip Jones Griffiths

Philip Jones Griffiths was a Welsh photojournalist. He’s best known for his coverage of the Vietnam war. He was president of Magnum, between 1980-85.

A silhouette of a tree against white snowy landscape with black and white photography quote by Philip Jones Griffiths

11. Andri Cauldwell on Black and White

“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

Andri Magdelena Cauldwell is a contemporary American photographer Her black and white quotes pinpoint exactly how powerful monochrome photography can be.

The interior of a stone church overlayed with black and white quotes from Andri Cauldwell

10. Kim Hunter on Expressing Emotions Through B&W

“I think it’s because it was an emotional story, and emotions come through much stronger in black and white. Color is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.” – Kim Hunter

Kim Hunter was an American actress. Ok, so she’s not a photographer. But her quote on black and white is no less mighty.

A photo of a broken pier overlayed with black and white quotes from Kim Hunter

9. Henri Mattise on the Queen of All Colors

“I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black.” – Henri Mattise

Henri Matisse was a French Fauvist painter. He said, even after 40 years of painting and discovering, black is the most powerful color.

A photo of the silhouette of birds perched on electricity wires overlayed with black and white quotes from Henri Matisse

8. Paul Outerbridge on the Difference Between Color and Monochrome

“One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state. Much can be implied by suggestion, but statement demands certainty… absolute certainty.” – Paul Outerbridge

Paul Outerbridge, Jr. was an American photographer. He’s known for his early use of and experiments with color photography.

Atmospheric architecture photo overlayed with a quote from Paul Outerbridge

7. Anders Petersen on Black and White

“In black and white there are more colors than color photography, because you are not blocked by any colors so you can use your experiences, your knowledge, and your fantasy, to put colors into black and white.” – Anders Petersen

Anders Petersen (born 3 May 1944) is a Swedish photographer, who works in Stockholm. His work features intimate and personal black and white documentary-style photographs.

A street photo of the silhouette of a man overlayed with photo quotes from Anders Petersen

6. Ansel Adams on Seeing in Black and White Photography

“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

Ansel Easton Adams was an American landscape photographer. His black-and-white landscape images showcased the American West, especially National Parks. They appear in calendars, posters, books, and all over the internet.

A photo of birds perched on a wall overlayed with black and white photography quote from Ansel Adams

5. Walker Evans on How Colour Corrupts Photography

“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

Walker Evans was an American photojournalist and photographer. He’s best known for his work for the FSA (Farm Security Administration) documenting the effects of the Great Depression.

A boy stands at the bottom of some black and white steps

4.  Eliott Erwitt on Black and White

“Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.” – Eliott Erwitt

Eliott Erwitt is an American photographer, best known for his street photography. He also used black and white candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings.

Atmospheric landscape photo of a mountainous landscape overlayed with black and white quote from Eliot Erwitt

3. Jennifer Price on B&W

“What I love about Black & White photographs is that they’re more like reading the book than seeing the movie” – Jennifer Price

Jennifer Price is an American contemporary photographer. She runs her own photography studio in California.

A close up photo of the silhouette of a person playing guitar with black and white quote from Jennifer Price

2. Rober Frank on Black and White Symbolism

“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

Robert Frank is a Swiss-American photographer and documentary filmmaker. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, presented his outsider’s view of American society.
A photo of the silhouette of a little boy on a swingset overlayed with a black and white photography quote from Robert Frank

1. Ted Grant on B&W vs. Color Photography

“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

Ted Grant is Canada’s most prolific living photographer. He has a career spanning 60 years as a photojournalist.
His latest book, published in 2009, came with the title “Real Photographers Shoot Black and White. Sometimes Colour”.
Atmospheric photo of the silhouette of a man fishing overlayed with black and white quotes from Ted Grant

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