Black and white photography has been around since the earliest days of photography. Even with the advent of color photography, black and white remains a popular artistic choice for photographers. There is a timeless quality to black and white images that can capture a moment in a way that color cannot. In this article, we will explore the beauty of black and white photography from Randy Bott Photography

The Appeal of Black and White Photography

Black and white photography is often used to create a sense of timelessness, simplicity, and nostalgia. It can also be used to emphasize the shapes, textures, and contrast of a subject. The absence of color allows the photographer to focus on these elements, creating a more striking and powerful image.

The images in the Modern Black and White gallery are the result of spending weeks on the editing process.


inspiring black and white photographs

The halls of justice can invoke a myriad of emotions. Whether in color or black and white, everyone sees the justice system of America in a different light. Some good, some bad, some indifferent. Either way, be proud of who you are and always try to do good in this world. Limited Edition of 100 prints available.

The State Capitol Building is a significant cultural and historical landmark in Washington State. It has been the center of government in the state for almost a century and is a symbol of the state's political power.

The building is also home to many important artifacts and works of art. The Legislative Building features a collection of historical murals, including one by renowned artist Edwin Blashfield. The building's rotunda houses a large chandelier made of over 4,000 pieces of crystal, and the Legislative Chamber features a beautiful mural by artist Albert Herter.

The State Capitol Building is also a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take guided tours of the building and learn about the state's history and government. The building is also a popular spot for photography and picnics.


most inspiring black and white photographs.

The iconic view of Seattle from the Jose Rizal Bridge. I wanted a different look so I thought about how I could make Seattle look like Gotham. Most photographers photograph this location at sunset. In the summer, the sun sets behind the city. Built in 1911, it was one of the first permanent steel bridges in Seattle. Limited Edition of 100 prints available.

BECOMING GOTHAM is the image I'm most proud of. Over 30 hours went into this edit. A mask was created for every different part of this image. Each building was edited, the light posts on the highway, the sky, trees, etc. to create the 3D look. Most photographers aren't willing to put in this amount of time but I enjoy the editing process. It took about 2 weeks with a few hours a day to complete. After a few hours, my eyes crossed and I had to stop. I think this is the best black and white image of Seattle I've seen. But I may be a bit biased.


Most inspiring black and white photographs

The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Built to hold the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibit and is now used for weddings, corporate events, etc. During our 2 week road trip over Thanksgiving, we learned San Francisco is a cloudless city but the 60 degree temps sure were nice after leaving Seattle. I wonder if the foggy images I see are Photoshopped. Limited Edition of 100 prints available.

The Palace of Fine Arts is a spectacular piece of architecture that was built for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. It is one of the most famous landmarks in the city and attracts millions of visitors every year. The Palace of Fine Arts is an iconic symbol of San Francisco and a masterpiece of art and architecture. In this article, we will explore the history, design, and significance of this stunning structure.


inspiring black and white photographs

Where does this bridge go for you? So many choices and each one is up to you. You get to decide where the road is taking you. Wherever you want to go figure out how to get there and take it one day at a time. No excuses, no blaming others. Follow your path and make it what you want. I have been driving past the 21st Street bridge in Tacoma, Washington for years and as I learn more about black and white editing, I finally have a vision of what I want it to look like. Limited Edition of 100 prints available.

Driving south on I-5 through Tacoma Washington, I thought about this image a lot. Waiting for the right conditions is tough in the summer. I needed clouds but it was nothing but blue skies for a long time. BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE finally came together in the early fall. The streaking clouds gave the sky just enough interest for an inspiring black and white photograph. As the bridge goes across the image, I can only imaging where it takes you. The destination is different for everyone.


Inspiring black and white photographs.

Mount Rainier reflecting in Reflection Lakes during a cloudy, rainy morning. Converting an image to black and white removes all the distraction cause by the many colors of the scene. A 4 minute exposure creates a sense of movement in the clouds and calm in the lake. Black and white images are about the Figure and the Ground. The "Figure" is Mount Rainier since that has the most contrast and the "Ground" is everything else. Limited Edition of 100 prints available.

Arriving to Reflection Lakes for sunrise, the clouds proved to be too much for the sun. However, for an inspiring black and white photograph, it was perfect. The minutes long exposure streaked the clouds and smoothed out the ripples in the water. I knew right away how I was going to edit this image. Of course, sunset the night before was one of the best I've seen. It's not often you get images from sunset then sunrise the next day.


Black and white photography is one of the more difficult to get right. It's not as easy as clicking the black and white button in Lightroom or Photoshop. Each one of these inspiring photographs took days to edit. Creating hard masks, luminosity masks, and combining them together for the editing process takes many hours. A lot of photographers don't want to spend that much time editing. Personally, I enjoy the editing process. My hope is to inspire you to get into black and white or learn to appreciate it more. Check out the Modern Black and White gallery for more inspiration.

black and white fine art print of the Peter Iredale at Fort Stevens State Park.

A perfect cloudy day to shoot a black and white fine art image of the bones of the Peter Iredale. The ship ran aground in a storm in 1906 while navigating to the Columbia River. No casualties among the 27 crew but the ship was never salvaged. After a couple weeks on the sand, the hull became damaged and was left alone. It has since become a major attraction around Astoria, Oregon and Fort Stevens State Park. Limited Edition of 100 prints available.

Wenatchee river in the Tumwater canyon in black and white.

The Tumwater Canyon in the fall is some of the best fall color in Washington State but sometimes it has to be shown in black and white. Show the area in the simplicity and timelessness that is black and white photography. It makes me wonder what Ansel Adams would do with the digital camera of today.