Fans of Robert Doisneau or Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photography will love exploring our selection of stunning black and white photos at KAZoART. Aesthetic through its powerful contrasts and poetic stories, black and white photography looks set to continue its success for many more years to come.
The medium of black and white photography prints brings a certain patina to photos that never fails to impress. Historic black and white photography prints contributing to this renown include the memorable photos of post-war Paris taken by Robert Doisneau (Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville, Gargoyle at Notre Dame) and the poignant photos of photo-journalist Robert Capa, who covered the greatest events of the 20th century across the world (The Falling Soldier).
Alongside Henri Cartier-Bresson (Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare), David Seymour (A Disturbed Child in Warsaw Orphanage) and a number of other artists, Capa co-founded the Magnum photographer cooperative in 1947 to improve the management of black and white photography photographers’ copyrights.
The history of photography dates back to Antiquity, when the scientists of the era, already taking an interest in optics, first sketched their ideas for the camera obscura, which much later led to black and white photography prints. The world's greatest artists, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer and Vermeer, used ingenious optical inventions to perfect their works and deal with issues related to proportions. Using mirrors, the subject’s image was projected onto a much smaller medium. It was, however, still too early at this stage to call the process photography or to associate it with black and white photography prints, as it was the artist themselves that then reproduced the image.
With the invention of the lens in the 16th century, the projected image gradually became clearer, but it only really came together for the first time in the 19th century with the chemical processes created by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. This first photo, taken in black and white, was a true revolution in the world of images, but the long process (which could take several days) and the level of clarity still left much to be desired and called for improvements. There was still a long road ahead before these images could be called black and white photography.
These came in 1839, when Daguerre drew on Niépce's experiments to invent the daguerreotype. It was an immediate success and is now seen as the real introduction to black and white photography prints as we know them today! So much so that the technique was patented by the French government, before quickly being given "free to the world", thus begins the beginning of black and white photography.
Today, some contemporary photographers specialize in black and white photography in a quest for hard-hitting, pure aesthetics and to make the most of the powerful impact of shadows. Our catalogue invites you to explore black and white photography in landscapes, architecture, and black and white photo prints of women.
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