The history of black and white photography is essentially a significant part of the entire story of photography. It is the story of a relatively new technology that began a about 170 years ago in Europe. The actual process of a projected image appearing inside a light tight box has existed much longer. The problem being that there was no means to fix the image for any length of time, until two Frenchmen collaborated and succeeded in fixing the image so that it could be viewed by others.
From the earliest inception of photography, the black and white image has endured up into the present even with digital photography being as popular as it is. The black and white image over the decades has proven itself as a stable long lasting product that digital imaging has yet to illustrate as time goes on.
The black and white legacy left by great photographic artists such as Yousuf Karsh from Ottawa, Canada and Ansel Adams from Carmel, California that I briefly spoke about in an earlier post, still inspires and encourages both amateur and professional photographers to work in black and white. Black and white photography is a unique art form with a strong lineage that still permeates the heart and minds of photographers, publishers and the artistic community as a whole.