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Simple, classical, no-nonsense black

Caezer Ng

Covering two topics today: black-and-white photographs and black tape around canvas.

Much can be said about black and white images and how they ought to be presented. In my humble opinion, having worked in the news photography industry for eight years, the era of black and white images is over. This is coming from a guy who loves black and white. For most intents and purposes, use colour. Apart from economic/business purpose (it's cheaper to use than colour), black and white is more the domain of academia, museums, and art. Ninety-nine per cent of the time, colour crosses this shop's desk.

However, art is a huge part of why we still see black and white images. When they are used, they bring a form of simple storytelling that colour would have diminished. Examine this series of musicians, printed and stretched on 16-inch-by-20-inch canvas. It rocks.

There some challenges making these. Typically, canvas requires about two inches of the print to wrap around the 1.5-inch-thick bars. The 'feel' of each picture would look very different (ie. terrible) had they been wrapped using the standard gallery wrap. The solution was to print only on the front face of the canvas, and then using a black, matte fabric tape to wrap around the otherwise-white sides:

The finish is a more-handsome product. The traditional gallery wrap would have made the canvas less desireable; the strumming hand, jumping feet, and the head would have wrapped around the sides.

Black, for the border, is often the choice as it is the least distracting colour. It even enhances some pictures, being a faux frame.