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Black and white in the usual sense: reproduction of gray values
Black and white in the literal sense: no gray, just black and white (b / w photocopy of the photo above)
With dithering , gray values ​​can be approximated by black and white

Black and white or black and white (as an adjective black or black ; abbreviation SW , sw or b / w ) is the name for visual or photographic processes without mapping of colors and thus can have two meanings:

  1. in the narrower sense, the exclusively binary use of two brightness values ​​/ colors, d. H. the literal meaning, e.g. B. in different printing techniques, data formats, screens and other playback devices as well as full tone images , line drawings and rastered images.
  2. in the broader sense gray levels, e.g. B. in black and white photography , in black and white film or in black and white video technology , where the term also includes the respective gray values ​​of the displayed colors ( achromatic ) and thus describes black - gray - white halftone images .

Applications of terms

Use of language / use as an idiom

  • If a person sees everything in black and white, for example there is only "the good" and "the bad", but no shades in between. Accordingly, “black and white painting” in the figurative sense means that someone only expresses himself in extremes.
  • Black and white is a keyword for special situations and objects - for example in magic or when describing appropriately colored bodies of water, mountains or rock faces.