“Man likes colour. All photographers are familiar with the delighted exclamation of the viewer, “Oh, this is so colourful!” This also applies to underwater photography, and the task of creating colourful underwater pictures is the goal of many.
But then there’s good old black and white. Yes, even underwater. And even as some of you are now surely shaking your heads wondering what the point could be of depicting a colourful underwater scene or sea creature in black and white, others can be heard quietly whispering about “art” – since black and white photography is the only true “master’s” skill, is it not? No “nice colours” in an image? Well, it must automatically be art, right? Well… not quite. But a general potential does exist. As always, it all depends on the photographer.
Had the American Hannibal Goodwin, inventor of roll film on a celluloid base in the late 1880s, had the opportunity to produce a colour film for stills photography, he certainly would have done so with joy, dismissing black and white photography as “colourless and boring”. But, as it was, the grey tones remained, even in the early days of underwater photography. ”
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