Portrait Competition Winner March 2023

Black and white photography portraits have a timeless and classic appeal. Even though colour photography has become the norm, monochrome in portraiture remains a popular choice for photographers. The absence of colour in black-and-white portraits focuses the viewer’s attention on the subject’s expression, texture, and form, creating a sense of timelessness and emotional depth that is unique to this style of photography.

One of the reasons that black and white photography remains popular is that it can create a sense of drama and intensity that is difficult to achieve with colour. The contrast between light and dark tones can create a dramatic effect, emphasizing the subject’s features and mood. Black and white portraits can also capture details lost in a colour image, such as skin texture, wrinkles, and freckles.

Another reason that black and white photography is still popular is that it can evoke a sense of nostalgia and history. Many famous photographers, such as Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, are known for their black and white portraits. Their work continues to inspire and influence photographers today. The use of monochrome can add a sense of timelessness and universality to a portrait, making it more memorable and impactful.

When creating black-and-white portraits, photographers must pay close attention to composition, lighting, and contrast. The subject’s pose, expression, and clothing can also play a significant role in the final image. A well-executed black-and-white portrait can be striking, capturing the essence of the subject’s personality and mood in a way that colour photography cannot.

Black and white photography portraits are a timeless and classic form of portraiture. They offer a sense of drama and intensity, evoke nostalgia and history, and create a unique emotional depth. Photographers who wish to create black-and-white portraits must pay close attention to composition, lighting, and contrast, as well as the subject’s pose and expression. When executed well, black and white portraits can be powerful and memorable, standing the test of time and becoming true works of art.

With all that in mind, congratulations to Philip Smith, who won the March portraits competition with ‘Man on a Bench’, taken in Hoi An, Vietnam

Philip said, “The markets were heaving with activity, and this man was totally fast asleep in the middle of all the hustle and bustle. I loved how his hands and arms were all intertwined, and the small stool that the Vietnamese sat comfortably on made up the basis for his pillow.”
We love the development of the tonal ranges and the close composition giving a window into this man’s world.
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