Black & White Photography For Sale

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With 87,617 limited edition and open edition prints to choose from, Saatchi Art offers high quality black & white photography perfectly suited for your space. Read more

Black and white photography is a truly timeless medium. Line, texture, contrast, and tone are dramatically brought to the fore in monochromatic images. Even today, long after the advent of color film, some photographers still choose to work exclusively in B&W for how it allows them to portray their subjects in new, often surprising ways. Whether you’re looking for exclusive, limited edition black and white prints or high quality poster-sized prints, we’re confident that Saatchi Art’s global selection of black & white photography for sale contains works that suit your personal style and space. 

The history of black and white photography originated in ancient times with the advent of the camera obscura, but the development of the medium did not really take off until the early 1800s. The refinement of the camera arose from a series of experiments, beginning with Thomas Wedgwood’s silver nitrate paper method. In the 1820s, Nicephore Niepce successfully created a photograph, though the process took days to complete and only produced negatives. His partner Louis Daguerre yielded better results with his well-known daguerreotype process, which was introduced to the public in 1839. This invention sparked a high demand for portraiture. Later experiments shortened exposure time and improved the formal qualities of photographs. Photographer Sergei Lvovich Levitsky introduced the use of interchangeable backdrops for photo shoots and retouched negatives to remove any imperfections. By 1884, portable film replaced glass plates, and soon after, the first Kodak cameras were sold. As cameras and film became more accessible to the public, black and white photographic art developed both inside and outside the studio. Today the tradition continues on both digital and analog platforms.

Photographers can choose to start with a color photo, then dramatically alter the overall effect using digital conversion to grayscale or edit their black and white photography with color accents. Conversely, those who prefer analog photography may choose to shoot using black and white film. Although the virtues of film over digital in the realm of black and white photography is highly debatable, some analog enthusiasts cite such subtleties as film grain, dynamic range (i.e. whiter whites and blacker blacks), and more detailed highlights as top reasons for shooting with black and white film. Photographers may also decide to manipulate their black and white photographs. Surrealist photographers, for example, used techniques like multiple exposures, brulage (in which the negative is heated and partially burned), and solarization (in which the color tones are reversed), to achieve an uncanny effect in their works. Regardless of the process, many contemporary fine-art photographers still choose to use some level of digital image editing for enhancement. 

One of the most well-known photographers of monochromatic imagery is Ansel Adams, whose name is practically synonymous with black and white landscape photography. Several well-known photojournalists used the medium to document current events. Dorothea Lange is known for “Migrant Mother” (1936) and other images of life during the Great Depression, Robert Capa is famed for his war photo essays like “Capturing the Truth,” and Ernest Cole and David Goldblatt photographed apartheid life in South Africa. Modernist photographer Alfred Stieglitz is credited with producing the first abstract photographs in his “Equivalents” series (1925-1934), which depicted the sky and clouds. Famous black and white photographs include Robert Doisneau’s iconic “Kiss by the Town Hall” (1950) and artist Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled Film Stills” self-portrait series (1977-1980). Other photographers famed for their black and white photography include Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, Man Ray, Raoul Hausmann, Brassai, Seydou Keita, Malick Sidibe, Ray K. Metzker, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and fashion photographer Herb Ritts.

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Des Monstres III - Large - Limited Edition 10 of 25, Photography image
Photography, 55.1 W x 39.4 H x 0.4 in
$5,450
life is not a TV show - Limited Edition 1 of 20, Photography image
Photography, 15.7 W x 15.7 H x 0.4 in
$740
Prints from $100
Enter The Void no. I - Large - Limited Edition 3 of 25, Photography image
Photography, 42.9 W x 39.4 H x 0.1 in
$3,770
El Matador #4 of 7 Limited Edition, Photography image
Photography, 21 W x 20 H x 0.1 in
United States
$1,970
Untitled - #227 - Limited Edition 1 of 30, Photography image
Photography, 23.6 W x 23.6 H x 0.4 in
$490
Prints from $100
Morning Rose no. I - Large - Limited Edition 1 of 25, Photography image
Photography, 59.1 W x 39.4 H x 0 in
$3,770
Sea Dance 2 (2016) - Limited Edition of 25, Photography image
Photography, 16.5 W x 23.2 H x 0.1 in
United Kingdom
$800
Braids - Limited Edition 1 of 7, Photography image
Photography, 48 W x 62 H x 0.1 in
United States
$3,010
paris, demain matin - Limited Edition 1 of 10, Photography image
Photography, 9.5 W x 11.5 H x 1.5 in
United States
$395
Prints from $80
water / VENCE 3, Photography image
Photography, 47.2 W x 39.4 H x 0.8 in
Emerson, Photography image
Photography, 27 W x 18 H x 1 in
United States
$1,350
Ephemera 2 (2005) - Limited Edition of 10 + 2APs, Photography image
Photography, 35.4 W x 44.1 H x 0.1 in
United Kingdom
$2,190
Untitled - #256 - Limited Edition 2 of 30, Photography image
Photography, 23.6 W x 23.6 H x 0.4 in
$490
Prints from $100
Lost, Photography image
Photography, 23.6 W x 32.3 H x 0.4 in
$830
Prints from $100
portrait XXI  Limited edition of 10, Photography image
Photography, 35.4 W x 35.4 H x 0.2 in
Netherlands
$1,760
"eyes wide shut..."   -   Limited edition 2 of 20 (1 sold), Photography image
Photography, 15.7 W x 15.7 H x 0.4 in
$740
Prints from $100
Gnossienne no. V - Large - Limited Edition 1 of 5, Photography image
Photography, 35.4 W x 35.4 H x 0.4 in
$5,450
#001 '10 Limited Edition 1 of 10, Photography image
Photography, 39.4 W x 29.5 H x 0 in
$990
Prints from $46
THE TREE OF WISDOM - Limited Edition of 25, Photography image
Photography, 56 W x 31.5 H x 0.1 in
United States
$2,960
Pigeonholed (limited edition of 5), Photography image
Photography, 29.5 W x 39.4 H x 0.4 in
Czech Republic
$1,130
Prints from $46
Edition 1/10 - The Vienne, Chinon, France, Photography image
Photography, 11 W x 14 H x 1 in
United Kingdom
$1,010
SnoFox & ShowOx I | 59,4 X 42 cm | Limited edition of 30, Photography image
$1,760
Prints from $100
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