As a creative challenge, and because I LOVE black and white, I have decided to shoot/process all of my personal work for the rest of May and the whole month of June in monochrome. Maybe partly due to the announcement of the Leica M Monochrom (codename Henri–yes, that Henri) and partly because a short audit of my favorite photos found many of them to be black and white, I feel the need to explore tones, textures, contrast, and mood more extensively.
I will be shooting primarily in RAW for maximum processing flexibility, and I’m sure I’ll be calling upon the most excellent Nik Silver Efex Pro for help in conversions. I still have a roll of Tri-X loaded in my Nikon FM2, also, so I might finish that up and load up another.
My great hope is that I will produce some compelling images, and that I will learn more about “seeing” in black and white–something that I think has already been one of my strengths. There is something timeless and contemplative about black and white that draws me in and holds my attention. I am in no way suggesting that working in color is inferior or less serious (William Eggleston has already disproven that!). I am suggesting that I personally find black and white images compelling when well done, and that I feel like in this digital age when we can shoot in color and convert to black and white after the fact, that we have lost some of the experience of being limited to shades of gray.
Call it what you will, I am looking forward to the challenge and to the images. I invite anyone that follows this blog to tag along, and to share with me their own black and white images.
And no, I won’t be picking up an $8,000 manual focus, black and white only camera anytime soon. ;-)