The Uncolors

A photo story discussing the definition, connotation, and historic significance of the colors black and white.

Physics describes color as visible light with a specific wavelength. Black is the absence of visible light. Black has no wavelength.

Black represents darkness, in all sense of the word. It is associated with the unknown, the negative.


It symbolizes fear and mystery. 

During the Roman Empire, Black became the color of mourning, evolving to be associated with death, magic, and witches. 

Since the Middle Ages, Black has also been symbolic of authority and solemnity, the shade donned by judges. 


Black is elegant, aggressive, ominous, and powerful.

White is pure, fresh, innocent and soft. 


Physics describes color as visible light with a specific wavelength. White is the result of all wavelengths of visible light, combined. 

In ancient Egypt, high ranking religious figures wore white as a symbol of their purity.


During the European Renaissance, a white unicorn represented innocence. 

White is associated with light, goodness, beginnings, spirituality and exactitude.

White is often depicted in opposition to Black. White is Truth, Black is Ignorance. White is Good, Black is Evil. 


When experienced on their own, the two achromatic shades have opposing connotations. But when together, they create balance. 

Using Format