“To see in colour is a delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.”
– Andri Cauldwell
While night photography will always be my first love, black and white photography is a genre that sits most comfortably with me. As a child of the sixties, I often rummaged through family old black and white photos taken with my dad’s 1950’s Braun Paxette camera and I was fascinated with the images. Those old images took me into a world of wonder and I would study them for hours. Black and white photography was forgotten once colour came to the masses but some photographers remained loyal. Today, in the world of digital photography, there are many great black and white photographers and it’s making a resurgence.
Black and white photography is seen as the purest form of photography. Humans see the world in colour and to me, it’s a common sight. Once you remove colour from an image, you are able to look at it without the distractions. It makes us pause and take a closer look. We see the subject, textures, patterns and composition. Black and white images can be dramatic and emotive, they tell a story. A black and white portrait is a picture of beauty and in my eyes, these portraits will always retain that classic, timeless element.
“Colour records the image, but black and white records the feelings that lie beneath the surface.”
~ Cole Thompson
When I took up photography as a hobby nine years ago, I went crazy and took photos of everything, as you do. I was passionate but soon realised that not all images looked good in colour so there they sat on my computer for years. Recently I listened to a Podcast, F-Stop Collaborate and Listen by Matt Payne. In Episode 178, Discovering Your Vision in Landscape Photography, Matt interviews Cole Thompson, a brilliant black and white photographer who has changed the way I do things. Cole spoke directly to me and revived my passion, for not only photograph, but for black and white photography as well. Listening to Cole was just what I needed to get me motivated again.
Night photography is magical but it is becoming more and more impractical for me as I get older. Black and white photography, well to me that’s a genre that is both versatile and practical. I can be trigger happy without having to separate the genres because black and white photography is a genre that covers whatever you want to cover. It is not limited to say, night photography, landscapes, architecture, portraits, etc. – you can do them all!
I am currently sifting through my archives as life eases back into a relatively normal life here in Australia. I am excited about going out again to shoot some great black and white photography. However, keep an eye on my night photography because that love affair is not over yet. I look forward to writing blogs again. It feels good to be back.
PODCASTS: Please give Matt Payne’s podcast a go, F-Stop Collaborate and Listen. He has great guests and I am hooked. It’s one of the best (if not the best) photography podcasts around. I recommend Episode 178 with Cole Thompson. Cole talks about developing a personal vision, not following the rules, external validation and its impact and being true to yourself. Also check out Cole Thomspon’s and Matt Payne’s websites. I am a huge Matt Payne fan and listen to his podcasts regularly. I find Matt to be a great interviewer and he asks the right questions, and I love his work! Matt’s podcast is interesting, inspiring and motivating. And in case you haven’t already noticed, I am a HUGE Cole Thompson fan ☺️
VIDEO: Why Black and White by Cole Thompson. Definitely worth watching.