Why Black and White Photography Works with Sport

I’m a firm believer that photography should be awash with colour. Our world is stunning, enriched with amazing hues. I’m writing this looking out of my window at the blue skies and beautiful trees.

Sports photography is about colour too; colours are intrinsic to a team. Sponsors want their logos shown in all their glory. Great sports photos are bursting with colour.

But you cannot ignore the power of black and white photography. Used well, it’s arguably more powerful than producing something in colour. Occasionally, when I’m editing sports photos, certain images will cry out to be monochrome. Why? Sport is absolutely about emotion. Vibrant colours often equate to joy, celebration, victory. But for every winner, there’s plenty that aren’t, and emotions run the other direction. Black and White photos convey an emotion that colour can’t replicate. Not only this, but they can be viewed as ‘edgy’ or ‘gritty’… the sweat and tears that go into producing winning performances.

Here’s ten of my personal favourite black and white sports photos. I was lucky enough to feature several times on award-winning football blog, In Bed With Maradona, who loved my monochrome photos enough to showcase my work. You can check it out here.