Black and white, often abbreviated B/W or B&W, and hyphenated black-and-white when used as an adjective, is any of several monochrome forms in visual arts.
Black-and-white images are not usually starkly contrasted black and white. They combine black and white in a continuum producing a range of shades of gray. Further, many monochrome prints in still photography, especially those produced earlier in its development, were in sepia (mainly for archival stability), which yielded richer, subtler shading than reproductions in plain black-and-white.
- Movies and animated cartoons. While some color film processes (including hand coloring) were experimented with and in limited use from the earliest days of motion pictures, the switch from most films being in black-and-white to most being in color was gradual, taking place from the 1930s to the 1960s. Even when most studios had the capability to make color films they were not heavily utilized as using the Technicolor process was expensive and the process cumbersome. For many years it was not possible for films in color to render realistic hues, thus its use was restricted to historical films or musicals until the 1950s, while many directors preferred to use black-and-white stock. For the years 1940–1966, a separate Academy Award for Best Art Direction was given for black-and-white movies along with one for color.
Black-and-white photography of Frankfurt central station
- Photography was black-and-white or shades of sepia. Color photography was originally rare and expensive and again often containing inaccurate hues. Color photography became more common from the mid-20th century. Today, black-and-white is a niche market for photographers who use the medium for artistic purposes. This can take the form of black-and-white film or digital conversion to grayscale, with optional digital image editing manipulation to enhance the results. For amateur use certain companies such as Kodak manufactured black-and-white disposable cameras until 2009. Also, certain films are produced today which give black-and-white images using the ubiquitous C41 color process.
Valeria Semikoz By Paolo Fossati