I was about 19 or 20 years old when I became serious about photography. I scraped up money to buy my first SLR camera, which was thrilling to achieve as a poor College student. My preferred film was a roll of BxW Ilford 400s. The following Summer, I took a film photography class at UC Berkeley, so I could learn how to develop/print my own film and have unlimited access to the darkroom, which absorbed a good part of that year.
BxW can look really moody, which I love, but that’s not what draws me to Black and White (BxW) Photography. I think it’s because BxW is more challenging to shoot. It forces me to look at the World differently. I have to pay closer attention to lines, textures, backgrounds, expressions. In color, you don’t notice that level of detail as much; instead, you appreciate the feeling of the light and the hues and shades of all the colors.
In BxW, you strip everything away and are left with only the bones of the image. It is raw.
The first few years of my professional photography business, I shot a mix of color and BxW, but at some point in my career, I found myself shooting almost entirely in color. It was a slow, but distinct evolution. In self-reflection, I realize the change was based on a number of things — mainly that many clients preferred color over BxW and I grew to have a ‘signature style’ with how I edit my color images. They are creamier whites and sunnier shades. Hey, I like happy photos! 🙂
I still love Black and White Photography. With a passion. So here is a post dedicated to only BxW photos, as an ode to my first love. ❤️
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