Black & White Photography

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  • Learn More About Black & White Photography

    The history of photography dates back to the 1800s, when French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce used a pinhole camera to capture an image on a pewter plate coated with a light-sensitive chemical. Up to that point, these pinhole cameras, called camera obscura, were only capable of projecting an image without actually capturing it. However, it wasn't until George Eastman invented the film camera in 1880 that anyone but only the wealthy were capable of taking photographs.

    By the 1940s, many people owned cameras and were taking pictures of friends, family, and the world around them. The industry took off, as did the artform. By the time the 1950s rolled around, photography studios were everywhere and black and white photographic prints hung on the walls of every house.

    Though we have camera technology today that can give us sharper, brighter color photographs than ever, there's something to be said about the elegant simplicity of black and white photography. It produces a mood that color can't fully replicate, and Etsy photographers sell a stunning array of modern black and white photos that capture magical moments. The scenery of a black and white photo of a snowy landscape comes through crisp. Black and white portraits and fashion photography of today and bygone eras gives inspiration to up-and-coming designers and visual artists. Animal photographs caught in black and white, taken out in the wild may arouse a spirit of adventure in the viewer, while a calming black and white photograph of an island beach brings a sense of tranquility.

    Etsy shops sell a treasure trove of vintage black and white photographs of people and places long gone that can never be captured again. They can transport you back to the days of your youth or to a fascinating point in time where you wish you could have been when history was being made.