Sunday, December 27, 2015

Beauty of black and white

Black and white photography is powerful. Pick up a book and look at the grainy, high contrast images shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 film by masters like Cartier Bresson, Don McCullen and SebastiĆ£o Salgado, they've lost nothing of their impact.

Today's super high resolution, fantastic colour, high dynamic range digital cameras enable faithful, ultra-real reproduction of the world. This way of rendering reality in exquisite detail does not however add emotion, a sense of the moment and gesture to an image.

The gritty black and white images created by the masters abstract reality, distilling it into the essential ingredients that connect with us through the history of photography. They represent a way we have learned to read history. We subconsciously attribute a sense of authenticity to these images.

This is why a photographer like Salgado insists his prints, although shot on the best DSLRs available look like the were photographed on film. He is conscious of his aesthetic voice and the weight of history and authenticity behind that look. 

I learned photography using film, developing and printing in the darkroom. Having explored the joys of the highest quality that digital can bring I am now again ready to experiment and embrace the aesthetic of black and white and explore that visual essence that the traditional look of film brings to an image.

Hope you enjoy the latest images.

Have a wonderful New Year.