|Image © PeteM2020|
Making the 109 B&W Photo Essay rekindled my interest in monotone images. Rather than letting colours set the mood of the image – varying the shade and contrast does it instead.
Sepia became a popular way of giving warmth and mood to stark B&W images. Many photographers would furthermore choose to print family images on warm coloured, heavy stock to give the photographs a touch of class. Edge scalloping / torn edges and embossing were further enhancements – techniques now the sole domain of fine art print makers.
Today, Photoshop has made the reproduction of the old art forms sepia, duotone, tritone and quadtone a simple matter. By learning colour theory – the judicious use of colour tinting can subtly change the mood of a B&W photograph to suit the intended message of the image.
Sadly, small images on the web does little justice to an art perfected by old masters.