It is hard to pin-point exactly where the power of black and white photos comes from, but its presence is undeniable. The most evident place to start is simplification, how the removal of color removes distraction and recalibrates focus. In the absence color, there is only light and dark left over to compete for the eye’s attention, and they do so with the enhanced intensity of two rivals, face-to-face after having vanquished all other foes. Black and white images expose vulnerability where the light is brightest, and breed enigma where the shadows are darkest. There is drama in black and white, and there is also honesty. Its simplicity has an almost cleansing effect in which textures become more discernable, reflections more vivid, and shadows more profound.

This photo-gallery highlights some of the strongest black and white photography to emerge from the PicsArt community. Each image focuses on a different subject, but yet they all share the common threads of a heightened sense of drama and stunning forthright imagery.