Black and white

Throughout my own photographic journey, I have always been inspired by black and white photos, from the early pioneers, to the masters of photojournalism and street photography.

It is not hard to be inspired by the work of Henri Cartier Bresson, Gary Winogrand, Vivian Maier and Jill Freedman to name just a few.

There is something about working in monochrome that seems to capture the essence of a moment in time, and while it is clear that one has to master the tools we use, being in the right place at the right time is an art in itsself.

I experimented with black and white film, in the very first few steps of my own photographic journey, but in all honestly lacked the knowledge in utilising it to its full potential.

It was once I had bought my first ‘proper’ DSLR that I began to take an interest in the masters of film, honing my photographic education from books or information gleaned from the internet.

There is something I still love about leafing through pages of photos from around the world, of so many different subjects, borrowing ideas or becoming inspired by so many talented photographers of a bygone era,

My own photographic philosophy is to attempt to capture the everyday, but to add my own touch if possible.

Any photographer will tell you that they look for textures, shapes or contrasts, all these become so much more relevant with black and white images.

The image of the cranes in the above sequence of images is such an example, through early morning cloud, there was something about the contrasts I liked and while the image looked good in colour, the monochrome was just so much better, especially with a slight vignette to focus on the centre.

The underside of the road bridge just had to be taken with a conversion to black and white in mind, the textures, light and shadow are all the things I love about photography.

Had anybody told me that I would take great enjoyment from street photography, I would have never believed them, I never felt confident about portrait or street photography, but as I have become more assured as both a person and a photographer, I have found that talking to a possible subject breaks the barriers, often the conversation turns to the cameras I use.

In Exeter, we have a plethora of very talented buskers, today, finally I had my camera with me to take the following shots

Today was just one of those days when I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and while I will always hope to be as good as those that have inspired me, I always come away from a photo walk with a sense of enjoyment and achievement.

 

 

 

 

Back to the blog

The start of another year, the hope of keeping to new years resolutions.

No, I have not taken a membership to a gym, neither have I taken to pounding the roads by running myself into oblivion, instead, I will attempt (note I did not say promise) to keep more regular postings here with my various camera outings.

My recent self imposed challenge with just using a 50mm lens in 2017 was enjoyable, forcing the creative side to find the more unusual take on a subject, it is something I will continue doing throughout 2018

As well as my favourite fifty, I will be mainly shooting 35mm, essentially my two favourite focal lengths, but I will also be adopting the ‘square’ format to my armoury this year.

Over the festive period, I was reading articles on the various formats used in photography, the 6×6 ‘square’ was the one that piqued my interest.
Used in the past by the medium format photographers with their twin reflex cameras, I love the way this format frees the composition out of the constraints of the rules of the thirds.


As most modern cameras now allow the facility to change aspect ratios, with their advanced EVF’s it is possible to view the cropped frame within the viewfinder.

A recent trip to Avon Dam on Dartmoor was the first time I tried this, it was a little odd at first, not seeing the whole image in the usual 3:2 aspect ratio where it filled the entire screen / viewfinder.

I like the way the image fills the square, leaving no empty spaces at the edge, the eye is drawn immediately to the subject.
I particularly like the way that Black & white images suit this format.

It is going to be fun discovering the everyday, in a new perspective, and hopefully as much fun sharing the images in more regular blogs