Black and white photography is incredibly powerful, but it can be tricky to pull off. For better or for worse, there’s no color to hide behind.

For our Black and White Quest, we asked for your best black and white photos—images that not only don’t need color, but are stronger without it. The subjects ranged from portraits to wildlife, but the winning photo and runners-up reinforced the creativity and impact of black and white.

The winning photo, Michail Christodoulopoulos‘ “Semana Santa”, of a holy procession in Spain, captured the judge’s eye with its mesmerizing composition.

Semana Santa by Michail Christodoulopoulos on

What the judge loved about this photo: “This striking image caught our attention right away. This is a perfect use of black and white—it emphasizes its mood and tone. The shallow depth of field and composition makes the viewer’s eye go back and forth through this line of men and their expressions.”

Michail shared the story behind the photo: “This photo was taken in Malaga last year during the Semana Santa / Holy week. I’ve been living in Spain for almost 14 years, but I never miss the processions from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, where the confraternities of Malaga carry their floats, representing the Passion of Christ from His entry into Jerusalem to His Resurrection.

What I really wanted to capture with this photo is the emotion of the people participating in this event. I believe that the absence of the colour speaks more directly to the emotion.”

Get inspired with these striking runner-up images:

Alone by Steven Koch on

Dirty Smiling Happiness v2 by Gennadiy Slezkin on

Shy boy by Raihan Quadir on

Rekero Scout by Jay Rush on

Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus by silkevanohlen on

The Sexy Family Dog by Rick Magnell on

Bald by Aziz Albagshi on

Monkey Business 3 by Elliot Neal on

Bandolero by Magdalena Wyszkowska on

A day's catch by Isabell Littmann on

Pear by Samuel Vansteenkiste on

Release me by Dragos Marian Zamfiroiu on

Tulips by Brian Haslam on

Monochromes by Anna Buczek on

Standing Here by Marco Nuno Faria on

Walk it Out by Kameron Sears on

Portrait of a young Himba Girl (Epupa, Namibia) by Yasmine DG on

Black and white by Yevhen Haloshyn on

The Storm is Coming !! by Shahidul Islam Sahel on