Perhaps its the grey weather, or the fact that I loved the story of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe in “Just Friends,” but I have been missing my black and white photography a great deal.
I would like to sneak into the darkroom at NYU to work on prints, but I am not sure how much trouble that would get me into. Perhaps I should make a break for it this weekend.
At any rate, I took a few great shots this week that I figured would translate well to black and white. There isn’t the same silvery, velvety feel to them as an analog film print, but I love them anyway.
Perhaps there is a lot to read into my choice of photos, but perhaps there is not. Meat, men, and massive architecture do make for great images when you think about it.
It is funny to note though, that as a child, as I would voraciously go through books, I would secretly judge them on their visual content. No pictures=boring and probably on some honors reading list. Black and white images=probably an old book on the Maya or Archeology, possibly interesting. Color images=sham-wow+mythology+animals+awesome! Over time I came to see the true beauty of black and white images as I began taking my own. They are able to convey ideas and emotions in a much more controlled and focused manner.
Color, as tantalizing as it is can sometimes be a crutch or a distraction, so when something calls for particularly amazing imagery, I look to masters of black and white like Cartier-Bresson, Mapplethorpe, and Adams for inspiration.
Cartier Bresson for his insightful portraits and masterful use of a Leica in the most interesting of situations. Mapplethorpe for his electric, jaw dropping themes and attention to detail with his Hasselblad and Polaroid. Adams for his scientific approach to taking images that perfectly document a moment and a place forever, and his gift to us: the Zone System.
😀 I could gush forever about them and my love of black and white imagery