black and white photography

Black and white photography- never out of style

I love black and white photography and I still love film photography– portraits, landscapes, all of it. I choose black and white when the color doesn’t add to the image, or when it actually takes away from the image.  Some people say it looks more real than a color photograph. I disagree. It accentuates certain things that may be the most real part of the image: the person’s eyes; the bubbles in a wave; the geometry of a building. But it takes me to a more distilled, strange world that is not only comforting but interesting. A blanket of color in an image can tell our brains to simply look at the scene. It is what our eyes see all day long. But a black and white images asks us to pause, and to see certain things in a different way. Black and white also reminds us that we are part of history, because so much of the imagery of the past is in black and white.

Last night I saw the movie, Mauvais Sang or at least part of it until I fell asleep,.
The director chose to create a theatrical atmosphere by making the movie black and white, almost. There was also a splash of color, usually either blue or red. This created a visually pleasing effect and felt almost as though I was watching a scene from another world. A far cry from the pastel hand colored photos of children during their Easter photo sessions. A more interesting use of “hand-coloring.” I photographed San Francisco in black and white, and as seen below, I hand colored it. To me, San Francisco is a city of pastels, even at night.
Below you will see some of my favorite black and white photos I took using my medium format camera, the Hasselblad, with the exception of the can which is from a large format 4×5 camera. I only wish that I could have the opportunity to shoot like this for weddings. Call if you’re interested.

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