Whether you want to find inspiration, fuel your creativity, or make a good caption for an Instagram post, this article is for you. We’ve gathered 50 inspiring black and white photography quotes from famous artists, writers, and photographers. We hope these black and white picture quotes inspire you, influence your artistic vision, and bring good emotions.

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Quotes About Black and White Color

1. “Color is everything, black and white is more.” — Dominic Rouse

2. “To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.” — Andri Cauldwell

3. “Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.” — Elliott Erwitt

50 Inspirational Black and White Photography Quotes

4. “Things are not quite so simple always as black and white.” — Doris Lessing

5. “Black and white has an unsurpassed ability to convey character.” — David Prakel

6. “The most colorful thing in the world is black and white, it contains all colors and at the same time excludes all.” — Vikrmn

7. “I think it’s because it was an emotional story, and emotions come through much stronger in black and white. Color is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.” — Kim Hunter

8. “Which is probably the reason why I work exclusively in black and white… to highlight that contrast.” — Leonard Nimoy

50 Inspirational Black and White Photography Quotes

9. “Black-and-white always looks modern, whatever that word means.” — Karl Lagerfeld

10. “Black and white creates a strange dreamscape that color never can.” — Jack Antonoff

— Curious about what black and white colors represent? Learn about color symbolism in different cultures in our article.

Black and White Inspirational Quotes

11. “Smile so damn bright that even black and white can’t dull your shine.” — Tilicia Haridat

12. “When you reduce life to black and white, you never see rainbows.” — Rachel Houston

50 Inspirational Black and White Photography Quotes

13. “Life is like a piano; the white keys represent happiness and the black show sadness. But as you go through life’s journey, remember that the black keys also create music.” — Ehssan

14. “We’re so quick to go to make things black and white, and to put things in their box. But everything is this mixture – and that’s what this world is – is this blend of different things.” — Matisyahu

15. “Good and bad times are like black and white color, incomplete without each other.” — Vikrmn

50 Inspirational Black and White Photography Quotes

16. “Life is not black and white; there is some gray nuance to it.” — Pilou Asbaek

Check out the top 20 photography contests to enter in 2022 (black and white photography included!).

Black and White Photography Quotes

17. “I believe that the essence of photography is black and white. Color is but a deviance.” — Ruth Bernhard

18. “With black and white photography, what you have to say counts more than the way you say it.” — Gian Marco Marano

19. “A good color picture is usually a good black and white too.” — John Beardsworth

20. “Black and white photography erases time from the equation.” — Jason Peterson

21. “There are some locations I go to and they scream black and white to me because of the ambiance. For me, great black and white images fall into two categories: very dramatic with stormy skies and bold compositions and at the other end of the spectrum a calm and minimalist composition.” — Helen Rushton

22. “Black and white images take you beyond what most people photograph.” — Rob Sheppard

50 Inspirational Black and White Photography Quotes

23. “What I love about Black & White photographs is that they’re more like reading the book than seeing the movie.” — Jennifer Price

24. “For me, converting a color photo to a black and white is like dipping a film negative in the developer liquid and discovering the final image.” — Guy Gagnon

25. “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!” — Ted Grant

26. “Black and white is abstract; color is not. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world.” — Joel Sternfeld

27. “What the human eye sees is an illusion of what is real. The black and white image transforms illusions into another reality.” — Ruth Bernhard

50 Inspirational Black and White Photography Quotes

28. “Maybe black and white is the best medium for landscapes, I don’t know.” — Fay Godwin

29. “Black and white are the colors of photography. To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” — Robert Frank

— Get inspired by black and white portraits created by Michal Baran.

30. “Photography is an art form like no other. It allows you to instantaneously capture time, and at the same moment, fade the colors of day into night so that you can print them out again and give them to the world, in the purity of black and white.” — Andri Cauldwell

31. “There’s something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery.” — Stefan Kanfer

32. “Everything always looked better in black and white. Everything always looked as if it were the first time; there’s always more people in a black and white photograph. It just makes it seem that there were more people at a gig, more people at a football match, than with color photography. Everything looks more exciting.” — Jack Lowden

33. “In black and white there are more colors than color photography, because you are not blocked by any colors so you can use your experiences, your knowledge, and your fantasy, to put colors into black and white.” — Anders Petersen

34. “The special factor about black and white photography is that it doesn’t just copy the reality, but it represents it with its own language.” — Gian Marco Marano

35. “I find that with black and white I go straight to the person. In color, I am more worried about the light, the clothes, the setting, etc. It is more complex. In black and white, it’s the person who is important.” — Harry Gruyaert

36. “Take your time with your composition; black and white images need to be strong to work well. With my black and white images I am always looking for bold textures, contrast between layers and lines in the composition to draw my viewers through the image.” — Helen Rushton

37. “Black and white photography has the potential to make any photographer a better photographer.” — Rob Sheppard

50 Inspirational Black and White Photography Quotes

38. “Black and white photography is a perfect lie. We must not let color destroy this image.” — Patrick Summerfield

39. “Music photographs in black and white are timeless. I can definitely recount more black and white music photographs I love than I can color ones.” — Dean Sherwood

40 “Although humans see reality in color, for me, black and white has always been connected to the image’s deeper truth, to its most hidden meaning.” — Peter Lindbergh

41. “I enjoy using black and white when creating fashion images and portraits as it tends to isolate the model. When shooting black and white, it makes you think differently. Your mindset has to change from color and you have to think in monochrome.” — James Nader

— Find 28 creative portrait photography ideas for 2022 on the Depositphotos blog.

Black and White Quotes About Life

42. “I think love keeps on changing every day. It’s not black and white and it’s definitely more than 50 shades of grey.” — Ville Valo

43. “Life is like a good black and white photograph, there’s black, there’s white, and lots of shades in between.” — Karl Heiner

50 Inspirational Black and White Photography Quotes

44. “Some people like living in black and white worlds. Let them stay there. Appreciate all the colors you see in your world though.” — Ashly Lorenzana

45. “I think if you live in a black-and-white world, you’re gonna suffer a lot. I used to be like that. But I don’t believe that anymore.” — Bradley Cooper

46. “Situations are rarely black or white; the truth lies somewhere in-between.” — Frank Sonnenberg

47. “There are two kinds of people in the world—only two kinds. Not black or white, rich or poor, but those either dead in sin or dead to sin.” — Leonard Ravenhill

48. “It’s not easy taking your own advice, accepting what you don’t like hearing, & seeing the grey amongst the black & white.” — April Mae Monterrosa

49. “It’s about you. If you win, it’s you; if you lose, it’s you. Black and white. Nowhere to hide.” — Greg Rusedski

50 Inspirational Black and White Photography Quotes

50. “Our lives at times seem a study in contrast… love & hate, birth & death, right & wrong… everything seen in absolutes of black & white. Too often we are not aware that it is the shades of grey that add depth & meaning to the starkness of those extremes.” — Ansel Adams

— Looking for more quotes about photos? Check out 100 inspirational & uplifting photography quotes.

FAQs About Black and White Photography

What do you call a black and white photo?

A black and white photo can also be called a monochrome image. In addition to black and white and grayscale photographs, monochrome photography can also include other hues of a single color, such as sepia, green, blue, or brown. For Helen Rushton, a professional photographer, “great black and white images fall into two categories: very dramatic with stormy skies and bold compositions and at the other end of the spectrum a calm and minimalist composition”.

What is the purpose of the black and white photos?

Leonard Nimoy once said: “Which is probably the reason why I work exclusively in black and white… to highlight that contrast”. Many photographers share the same viewpoint when it comes to black and white photography. All because this type of photography can help remove color distractions, highlight emotions, and emphasize the subject, contrast, shape, patterns, texture, light, and composition. Black and white photography also helps the viewer focus on little details that are not visible in color photographs.

When to use black and white photography?

Black and white photography is best used when there is a contrast between light and shadow. Take pictures at midday, when the shadows are harsh and the contrast is high. Black and white photography also works well if you have clear lines and shapes, textures and details, patterns and repetition in the scene.


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