In one of my favorite photography books, Mamarazzi: Every Mom's Guide to Photographing Kids, author Stacy Wasmuth, owner of Blue Candy Phtotography mentions the power of black and white pictures to draw attention away from superfluous elements to the emotion of the moment.
Here my 81-year-old father's concentration as he fights the effects of congestive heart failure to inhale deeply enough to blow out birthday candles becomes the focus when I convert the photo to black and white.
In this photo, the black and white image seems to emphasize the sweet intimacy of the bride and her mom. When the image was in color the crowd behind the two women was the focus of the picture.
This is another favorite black and white from the same wedding. The bride's grandfather was widowed several years ago. Now, however, when his friend Jackie is at his side his smile is unending. Again, when this photo is in color, the emphasis becomes the busyness in the room rather than the happiness of this sweet couple.
This photo, was taken in a Tajik Teahouse in Boulder, Colorado, of all places. The room was full of beautiful Central Asian art. The many colors, however, distracted from expressions on the cousins' faces as they enjoyed ice cream on a hot August afternoon.
Some stunning black and white images can be seen at Marla and Shane Photography.