The Benefits of Black & White Rendering
Black and white images appear to be more timeless than color images. … Humans see the world in color, and a rendition of the world in monochrome makes us pause and look closely. Removing color from images helps the viewer to focus on a subject’s emotional state.
Black-and-white focuses you on the content and the story, and it really concentrates your attention on what’s in the frame. All too often, color can be a distraction — it’s easier to make color look good, but harder to make color service the story. Black-and-white imagery is much more about the balance between the light and shade in the frame, and I think it can help convey story points a lot better with fewer distractions.
Lighting is not only about lighting; it’s also about not lighting, and cutting light off of objects as much as shining light on them. Those kinds of considerations are as important in colour photography as they are in black-and-white, but the sheer beauty of a well-composed and well-lit black-and-white frame is hard to beat, because it’s difficult to produce that type of focus and simplicity when you’re shooting in color. It’s vitally important to be able to separate shapes and surfaces through the use of light and shade, and to focus the audience’s attention on what you want them to see. Color is seductive, but it’s harder to get past the surface gloss to create a truly simple and relevant image. I almost wish every film were in black-and-white.