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B/W Photography

Black and White Photography

Black and white portraits are a great way to set a mood in your photography - and David Pezzat is a true master of this art. Using a variety of different techniques - David creates stunning and beautiful black and white portraits that are capable of capturing any mood you can envision. Whether you're looking for a dark and dramatic portrait shot - or a warm, comforting style - David has the eye of an artist that will make for stunning photography

The history of black and white photography

is a rich tapestry that dates back to the early 19th century. It is interwoven with technological advancements, artistic movements, and cultural shifts. Let’s delve into this history:

Early Beginnings:

The origins of black and white photography can be traced back to the early 1800s. In 1826, a French inventor named Joseph Nicéphore Niépce created what is considered the first photograph, known as "View from the Window at Le Gras." This image was produced using a process he called heliography, which involved bitumen and a pewter plate. The exposure time for this photograph took several days.

The Daguerreotype:

In 1839, Louis Daguerre, who had been collaborating with Niépce, introduced the daguerreotype process. This method required a polished silver-plated sheet and exposure to iodine vapor, followed by exposure to light, and then mercury vapor to develop the image. Daguerreotypes were incredibly detailed and became the first commercially successful form of photography.

The Calotype:

Also in 1839, an Englishman named William Henry Fox Talbot developed the calotype process, an early precursor to modern photography. Unlike the daguerreotype, which produced a unique image, calotypes used a negative, which allowed for multiple copies to be made. This process was the foundation of modern photographic techniques.

The Wet Plate Collodion Process:

In the 1850s, Frederick Scott Archer invented the wet plate collodion process. This method was more efficient and less expensive than the daguerreotype and produced a glass negative, allowing for multiple positive prints.

Gelatin Dry Plates and Roll Film:

In the late 1800s, the wet plate process was supplanted by the gelatin dry plate process. This allowed photographers to use commercially prepared plates, which were much more convenient. Around the same time, roll film was invented, which would eventually lead to the development of film cameras.

The Advent of Color and the Role of Black and White:

Color photography began to emerge in the early 20th century. However, for many years it was expensive and less reliable than black and white photography. Throughout the early to mid-20th century, black and white photography remained the standard, particularly in photojournalism and fine art.

Modern Era:

By the 1970s, color photography had become more reliable and affordable, and gradually became the standard for most applications. However, black and white photography never disappeared. Many artists and photographers continued to use it for its aesthetic qualities, ability to convey mood, and for its historical significance.

Today, even with the prevalence of color images, black and white photography remains a respected and valued art form. Many photographers choose black and white for its timeless quality, ability to emphasize textures and shapes, and its strong link to the roots of photographic history.

In the digital age, the choice between black and white and color is often made in post-production, with tools allowing for the conversion and manipulation of images in ways that were impossible in the days of film.

In conclusion, black and white photography has a storied and rich history. From its beginnings in the early 19th century to its continued use in the modern digital age, it remains an integral part of the photographic medium.