Life is made up of many shades of gray, and these black and white quotes show how photography can capture the beauty of it.
Some people see everything as either black or white. They fail to see a middle ground. But life would be so boring and predictable like that.
Instead, life is made up of millions of shades of gray. This is one reason why people love old black and white photography, or even new pictures made to look old. They capture something that colored images just can’t seem to grasp.
Take a moment and appreciate the many shades of gray in life and the beauty of photography through these black and white quotes.
Don’t forget to also check out these photography quotes to inspire your best pictures.
Old black and white quotes about photography
1. “I know these will become old stories someday and our pictures will become old photographs and we’ll all become somebody’s Mom or Dad, but right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening and I’m here.” – Logan Lerman
2. “Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.” – Sally Mann
3. “There is always something sad about the old photographs, it is because we know that people in the photos are gone forever.” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
4. “What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” — Karl Lagerfeld
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Karl Lagerfeld quotes that will make you see the art in life.
5. “There are some old photographs from where if you take anything out, even a chicken or a little bird, the magic will disappear.” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
Black and white quotes about the beauty of photography
6. “Black and white photography has the potential to make any photographer a better photographer.” – Rob Sheppard
7. “When images are in black and white, they seem timeless. When you see Carrie Otis in an ad from 1989 next to an ad with Klara Wester from 2009, you don’t see a 20-year difference between the pictures.” – Paul Marciano
8. “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
9. “There’s something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery.” – Stefan Kanfer
10. “I prefer black and white and portrait photography. I like old, you know, interesting faces, so I think black and white brings out the contrast.” – Brooklyn Beckham
11. “Everything always looked better in black and white. Everything always looked as if it were the first time; there are 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
12. “Black and white can transform a scene into something magical.” – Rob Sheppard
13. “Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but black and white films still hold an affectionate place in my heart; they have an incomparable mystique and mood.”― Ginger Rogers
14. “All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” – Leo Tolstoy
15. “Black and white photography erases time from the equation.” – Jason Peterson
16. “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
Black and white quotes about life
17. “Life is in color, but black and white is more realistic.” – Samuel Fuller
18. “Color is descriptive. Black and white is interpretive.” – Eliott Erwitt
19. “Color is everything, black and white is more.” – Dominic Rouse
20. “In the black and white journey of life, one day… someone will come to fill colors in it.” – D.S.
21. “When you reduce life to black and white, you never see rainbows.” – Rachel Houston
22. “Life is better in black and white.” – Unknown
23. Being glamorous is about strength and confidence. It’s black and white- dramatic.” – Catherine Zeta-Jones
24. “To see in colors is a delight for the eye, but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.” – Andri Cauldwell
25. “The way I was brought up by my parents and guided through my football life by the influences of various managers means that in some ways I am black and white.” – Stuart Pearce
26. “We’re so quick 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
27. “The most colorful thing in the world is black and white, it contains all colors and at the same time excludes all.” – Vikrmn
Black and white quotes about shades of gray
28. “Gray is the color… the most important of all… absent of opinion, nothing, neither/nor.” – Gerhard Richter
29. “In tragedy, it’s hard to find a good resolution; it’s not black and white: it’s a big fog of gray.” – Paul Dano
30. “Sorrows are like thunderclouds, in the distance, they look black, over our heads scarcely gray.” – Jean Paul
31. “Life is not black and white; there is some gray nuance to it.” – Pilou Asbaek
32. “Life is about the gray areas. Things are seldom black and white, even when we wish they were and think they should be, and I like exploring this nuanced terrain.” – Emily Giffin
33. “Sometimes we see things as being black or white. Perhaps you have two categories of coworkers in your mind – the good ones and the bad ones. Or, maybe you look at each project as either a success or a failure. Recognize the shades of gray, rather than putting things in terms of all good or all bad.” – Amy Morin
34. “Most of the stories I have covered in 45 years have been gray stories.” – Jim Lehrer
35. “I love the gray area between right and wrong.” – Dan Brown
36. “Gray goes with gold. Gray goes with all the colors. I’ve done gray-and-red painting, and gray and orange go so well together. It takes a long time to make gray because gray has a little bit of color in it.” – Ellsworth Kelly
37. “Life isn’t black and white. It’s a million gray areas, don’t you find?’’ – Ridley Scott
38. “The color of truth is gray.” – Andre Gide
More black and white quotes
39. “Black and white is abstract; color is not. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world.” – Joel Sternfield
40. “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
41. “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
42. “With black and white photography, what you have to say counts more than the way you say it.” – Gian Marco Marano
43. “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
44. “One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state. Much can be implied by suggestion, but statement demands certainty… absolute certainty.” – Paul Outerbridge
45. “One sees differently with color photography than black-and-white… in short, visualization must be modified by the specific nature of the equipment and materials being used.” – Ansel Easton Adams
46. “What I love about Black & White photographs is that they’re more like reading the book than seeing the movie.” – Jennifer Price
47. “I work in color sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it.” – Mary Ellen Mark
48. “Color tends to corrupt photography and absolute color corrupts it absolutely. Consider the way color film usually renders blue sky, green foliage, lipstick red, and the kiddies’ playsuit. These are four simple words which must be whispered: color photography is vulgar.” – Walker Evans
49. “Black and white creates a strange dreamscape that color never can.” – Jack Antonoff
50. “While the absence of color may contribute to our appreciation, at the same time it is important to assert that black and white is not photography minus color. Not at all. It’s much more subtle than turning down the color saturation on your television.” – John Beardsworth
Which of these black and white quotes is your favorite?
Do these quotes make you want to look at life with a new perspective. Grab an old camera or change the setting on your phone’s camera and explore the world around you through the lens of black and white images. Soak in the contrast of the different shades of gray created in the world around you.
And then, don’t stop with just black and white photography. Challenge yourself to enjoy the gray areas of life that are often overlooked. Challenge yourself to explore the middle ground. Look for the natural beauty that lies all around you through the black, white and shades of gray.
Did you enjoy these black and white quotes and sayings? Which of the quotes is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.
October 23, 2020 7:00 AM EST