Why black and white?

Why do some artists choose to photograph the world in black and white?

I've written extensively in the past about why I decided to concentrate solely on black-and-white photography in a color saturated world. For me, it's mostly for artistic reasons, but there are many business and philosophical reasons as well.

Nonetheless, I love to learn why other artists have made the same decision to create in black and white. I previously wrote about how movie director Mike Nichols fought studio execs to shoot the film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in black and white. He believed movies shot in black and white helped the audience immediately understand that they are not watching life, but a dramatized story about life.

In the video below, well-known large format landscape photographer Clyde Butcher gives his reason.

When asked why he shoots the lush Everglades in black and white, Butcher replied [paraphrased] that everything in nature is of the same importance — air, water, trees, animals, etc. and that black and white photography presents nature with a "oneness." He explains that in black and white, neither a vivid blue sky, nor deep green foliage, nor bright yellow flowers can take predominance, but rather, all the elements of nature are shown as they exist, in a oneness.

Landscape photographer Clyde Butcher discusses how he photographs the inhospitable Everglades

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