Story Telling in Black & White


The photo above is one of my favorite story-telling black & white images. This was taken at the zoo, and I loved the wise look on the gorilla. The bonus was the child looking through the glass.

A successful story-telling image gives the viewer an engaging subject with just enough details. Black & white photography cuts out the color, and brings the image to a basic tonal quality. Without the color, the photo relies on the relationship between the elements of the image.


Architecture lends itself to black & white well. In the photo above, the lines, texture, and contrast create a timeless image of a historic house along the Oregon coast. The cloudy sky contributes to the image by fading into the background. The details of the house bring the viewer’s attention to the building.

The linear aspects of architecture, whether historic homes or sky-scrapers, becomes the driving force in the composition. It is more delineated in black & white.

So, what is the story to tell, and should it be color or black & white? Photographer’s choice. . .

Happy Shooting. . .Karen

“Not Your Grandma’s Black & White” ULearn (Edmonds CC), Feb 9 – Mar 2, 2017 (Thursday nights)

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