On why black and white is therapeutic, and colors drive me insane.

People often associate black and white with words such as “bleak”, or “ominous”, or “lifeless”, and why wouldn’t they? It’s a deviation from friendlier, and more socially acceptable emotions such as “joy”, “excitement” or “comedic”, and as I’ve learned from life in the last 27 years, nobody likes to be in the nonconformist team, and your choice of color is no stranger to that.

I’m sure I’m not alone on that fence though, and while it’s comforting to know that there are a few people in the world who shares the same sentiments about #000000 and #ffffff, I always feel the need to defend my unusual choices, and why it matters to know that it goes beyond the surface.

In a lot of ways, black and white colors are comforting, and familiar. It leaves no room for much distraction, and when applied the right way, it can be hypnotizing, especially in living in this kaleidoscopic world, where most days, you would want to just stop, and calm down (and as a designer, I sometimes would feel that way about other colors — heavy, overwhelming mess of colors just like in real life).

There’s barely any room for anything but the light and the contrast, and it strips photos off to its purest form.

Some examples:

A lone stranger contemplating in the cliffs of the Grand Canyon, Arizona
Enjoying a nice moment on a spot away from the crowds, Grand Canyon, AZ
On a glacier high in Southern Iceland

I think that black and white really shows off the humanity in each photo, not just the grit. It softens all the right spots, and isolates all the dark ones, making one focus more on what the light is shining on — which is really the most vital part in any photograph. In any composition. In anything where life is concerned.

And the truth is, no other colors in the world could make me feel most alive, and most… in touch with my humanity. I’m not interested in any less than that for this medium. For this life. And if that associates me to all the negativity surrounding black and white, then I’m fine with the association. There are far better things to be worried about than what’s evident on the outside.

Photos taken by: Nikki Espartinez, http://nikkiespartinez.com/projects

On the intersection of life and work. No in-betweens. http://nikkiespartinez.com/projects

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