My Car Quest

September 28, 2021

Black and White Photos: Worth Collecting?

by Wallace Wyss –

While preparing for Monterey I came across some black and white photo handout shots. The originals are great–very glossy heavy paper, good for books. But car makers don’t hand out black and white glossies anymore, so I don’t collect them. And to tell the truth black and white doesn’t light my fire anymore because, if I want to make a painting, I have no idea what color the car was back in 1962, or whenever. You could say “If it’s a Ferrari, paint it Rosso Corsa” but there must be a dozen shades of that…

Ferrari-GTO

The Ferrari 250GTO works photo shows the GTO in ’62 before they discovered it needed a rear spoiler to keep the rear wheels on the ground.

If I copy them not at a photography studio, but an ordinary printing place, they lose about 20% of the detail which means, for books or magazines, they are too fuzzy. So who would want them? I think model car collectors, historians, to see what the cars first looked like, or car restorers.

Ferrari-250-LM-Ferrari-1 (1)

Ferrari works PR shot shows the 250LM before it got the longer sail panels.

But overall, I think with every modern phone able to take a color picture, black and white has lost its appeal and soon will be forgotten. I even considered printing some burnt sienna tone, but I wonder if the millennials and later even know why there were burnt sienna pictures or appreciate them?

So there ya be…is the appeal of black and white dead?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss will have a booth, Art & Books, at Concorso Italiano on Saturday August 14. He can be reached at malibucarart@gmail.com

 
 

 

 

Ferrari SP2

A modern day PR shot…though why they shot it in black and white when color is always available is a mystery. It promotes the Ferrari SP2.

Summary
Black and White Photos: Worth Collecting?
Article Name
Black and White Photos: Worth Collecting?
Description
While preparing for Monterey I came across some black and white photo handout shots. The originals are great--very glossy heavy paper, good for books. But car makers don't hand out black and white glossies anymore.
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Comments

  1. Black and white and burnt sienna tone will never be dead! There will always be something charming and artistic about them!

  2. That modern PR shot brilliantly captures the vibe of early Ferrari when you’d see Enzo, Chinetti, and others standing around a Ferrari assessing or collaborating. Kudos to the photographer and marketing team who came up with the idea.

  3. wallace wyss says

    I too want to congratulate Ferrari in 2021 for coming up with black and white as part of the promotion of the SP2. I don’t think any of the other automakers thought of it, but it adds to the mystique of “this is how we did it in the early days, by hand.”
    I will experiment with burnt sienna tone on some of my black and whites. I think it goes back to eggwhites, somehow being used in the chemicals for early photography and it would change black and white to brown tones, but not sure. I know when I deliberately made a burnt sienna toned painting, it was tedious trying to come up with so many shades of brown whereas with color you just throw in some red or other exciting color.

  4. Rex O'Steen says

    I affirm black and white, and I think others can tell the difference between digital and film. What good is it if you gain the limit of dots but lose what’s left over in continuity?

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