Faculty Mentor

Roy Sonnema

Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Date





This collection is intended to evoke the sensory details that are intensified by grayscale photography. Although photography is a visual arts medium, it possesses the potential to engage the viewers’ auditory, tactical, and olfactory senses. The color symbolism theory argues that through natural association and psychological symbolism, colors have specific connotations and therefore, elicit certain emotions. If this is, in fact, the case, what then can be gained from an image that is void of color? I feel that color often distracts the viewer from the intimate details of the images and prevents them from fully immersing themselves in the moment captured. Color is loud and distracting; viewers become so absorbed by the beauty of color, that they often fail to appreciate the image beyond the visual sense. Grayscale photography provides the viewer with a quiet, sober place to appreciate the tranquility of an empty museum, to listen to the faint ticking of a watch, and the gentle rustle of tree branches in a summer breeze, to feel a winter chill in the air, and to hear the soft trickling of raindrops in a forest. Grayscale photography demonstrates that the absence of color better awakens other senses, and proves that emotion is not only conveyed in color.