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Black-and-white (B/W or B&W) images combine black and white in a
continuous spectrum In physics, a continuous spectrum usually means a set of attainable values for some physical quantity (such as energy or wavelength) that is best described as an interval of real numbers, as opposed to a discrete spectrum, a set of attainable va ...
, producing a range of
shades of gray Variations of gray or grey include achromatic grayscale shades, which lie exactly between white and black, and nearby colors with low colorfulness. A selection of a number of these various colors is shown below. Chart of computer web color g ...
. A picture which uses only the two shades of white and black would look similar to a
silhouette A silhouette ( , ) is the image of a person, animal, object or scene represented as a solid shape of a single colour, usually black, with its edges matching the outline of the subject. The interior of a silhouette is featureless, and the silhoue ...
. Therefore, calling a photo a "black and white image" is actually a
misnomer A misnomer is a name that is incorrectly or unsuitably applied. Misnomers often arise because something was named long before its correct nature was known, or because an earlier form of something has been replaced by something to which the name no ...
. The technically accurate term is "
grayscale In digital photography, computer-generated imagery, and colorimetry, a grayscale or image is one in which the value of each pixel is a single sample representing only an ''amount'' of light; that is, it carries only intensity information. Gr ...
", or more specifically " grayscale monochrome". A picture which consists only of actual white and black pixels is a "
binary image A binary image is one that consists of pixels that can have one of exactly two colors, usually black and white. Binary images are also called ''bi-level'' or ''two-level''. This means that each pixel is stored as a single bit—i.e., a 0 or 1. ...
".


Media

The history of various visual media has begun with black and white, and as technology improved, altered to color. However, there are exceptions to this rule, including black-and-white
fine art photography Fine-art photography is photography created in line with the vision of the photographer as artist, using photography as a medium for creative expression. The goal of fine-art photography is to express an idea, a message, or an emotion. This stands ...
, as well as many film motion pictures and
art film An art film is typically an independent film, aimed at a niche market rather than a mass market audience. It is "intended to be a serious, artistic work, often experimental and not designed for mass appeal", "made primarily for aesthetic reasons ...
(s).


Photography


Contemporary use

left|Contemporary photo of a
Santa Cruz Island Santa Cruz Island (Spanish: ''Isla Santa Cruz'', Cruzeño: ''Limuw'') is located off the southwestern coast of Ventura, California, United States. It is the largest island in California and largest of the eight islands in the Channel Islands arc ...
Since the late 1960s, few mainstream films have been shot in black-and-white. The reasons are frequently commercial, as it is difficult to sell a film for television broadcasting if the film is not in color. 1961 was the last year in which the majority of Hollywood films were released in black and white.


Computing

In
computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both hardware and software. It has scientific, engineering, ...
terminology, ''black-and-white'' is sometimes used to refer to a
binary image A binary image is one that consists of pixels that can have one of exactly two colors, usually black and white. Binary images are also called ''bi-level'' or ''two-level''. This means that each pixel is stored as a single bit—i.e., a 0 or 1. ...
consisting solely of pure black
pixel In digital imaging, a pixel, pel, or picture element is a smallest addressable element in a raster image, or the smallest addressable element in an all points addressable display device; so it is the smallest controllable element of a picture re ...
s and pure white pixels; what would normally be called a black-and-white image, that is, an image containing shades of gray, is referred to in this context as
grayscale In digital photography, computer-generated imagery, and colorimetry, a grayscale or image is one in which the value of each pixel is a single sample representing only an ''amount'' of light; that is, it carries only intensity information. Gr ...
.Renner, Honey (2011). ''Fifty Shades of Greyscale: A History of Greyscale Cinema'', p. 13. Knob Publishers, Nice.


See also

*
dr5 chrome dr5, or dr5 Chrome, is a reversal black and white process, through which most kinds of black-and-white negative films produce transparencies (slides). The dr5 process is a chemical reversal process, rather than the standard, light-based reversal fo ...
*
List of black-and-white films produced since 1970 Since the 1970s, fiction feature films have been filmed almost exclusively in color. Some films after the transition to color are occasionally presented in black-and-white for budgetary or stylistic reasons. This is a list of notable feature films ...
*
Monochromatic color Monochromatic colors are all the colors (tones, tints, and shades) of a single hue. Monochromatic color schemes are derived from a single base hue and extended using its shades, tones and tints. Tints are achieved by adding white and shades and ...
*
Panchromatic film Panchromatic emulsion is a type of black-and-white photographic emulsion that is sensitive to all wavelengths of visible light. Description A panchromatic emulsion produces a realistic reproduction of a scene as it appears to the human eye, altho ...
*
Selective color Image editing encompasses the processes of altering images, whether they are digital photographs, traditional photo-chemical photographs, or illustrations. Traditional analog image editing is known as photo retouching, using tools such as an ...
*
Creator of the first camera Creator is something or someone who brings something into being. Books and comics * Creators (comics), characters in the Marvel Comics universe * Creators (Guyver), characters in the manga ''Bio Booster Armor Guyver'' * The Creator (novelette), a ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Black-And-White
Category:Photographic processes This category groups together articles that describe procedures by which light-sensitive materials are made to produce an image. The category should not be confused with '':Category:Photographic techniques'', which comprises articles describing proc ...