The missing Black

The black shining

Photo: “The black door” 
© Marco Ristuccia

While progress and evolution are donating us amazing things, conversely, as time goes by, we’re gradually deprived of something else. A kind of loss which is so slow and subtle we can’t even get aware of.

One of my personal mournings is the death of Black, silently blown away by some sort of faded gray shade. It might have something to do with our unconscious fears, historically and psychologically associated with darkness. The fact is that nowadays the whole world seems to have the urge to be utterly lit up and crystal clear, like the icon of the heaven we all aspire to.

I really miss the mystery and inscrutability of the true Black that made us dream of what was behind, the deep Black of the night sky which allowed us to admire the glowing stars, the absolute Black of the venerable CRT TVs that rendered the movie experience so attractive, and the fat Black of the silver gelatine never reached by any digital print.

2 thoughts on “The missing Black

  1. Hi,

    I have recently started to use black again in my paintings. A very useful colour to mix with many pigments (carefully though otherwise many colours will look awfully muddy), but is an exceptional ‘colour’ when mixed with earth tones.

    In photography I adore the way in which the black tones emerge on the sheet.
    2 tonal photographers you may like to look at are and Richard Littlewood (with whom I have worked with in the field).

    I’m yet to produce anything brilliant myself as black and white wildlife photography (I keep trying) but Nick Brandt is a genius!

    Great article by the way. Good luck!

    • Hi Robert,

      thank you for your feedback, I’ll definitely have a look at the photographers you suggested. Today I work more with color than black and white. However I’m always enchanted by the deepness of “silver black” when I’ve the opportunity to deal with it.

      Black usually adds depth to every scene, but we’re living in a society which becomes more and more superficial. Might be another explanation of what’s going on.

      You won the prize for the first post on this new blog, coincidentally consisting of a cup of “black” coffee!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.