nature and wildlife photography by Joseph Classen

Black and White Photography Gallery

During times of the year when the primary pallet of a particular environment is rather dull, or simply one of varying shades of black, white, and gray, I make it a point to shoot and create images with that color scheme. Black and white photography can produce bold, high impact, high drama images that can communicate thoughts and feelings in a manner that color images often fail to do. Take a look at the legendary work of photographers such as Ansel Adams and you’ll discover how powerful and alluring this genre can be.

Capturing and creating black and white images forces a photographer to see and compose things differently. Since the actual color of the subject is not a compositional issue, one needs to examine a scene more in terms of contrast, lighting, textures, visual flow, emotional content, etc. One has to take a good hard look at a subject before shooting it and give some thought as to how to can create an interesting composition out of it…but with no color to work with. Lack of color tends to greatly simplify a composition. As with many things in life, the beauty is in the simplicity. This is especially the case with black and white photography. The images featured here are ones that I either purposely shot in black and white, or, discovered in post-processing that the subject matter took on a whole new character with lack of color. They are subjects from both Alaska and the lower 48.