Black and White photography

Black and White Selfie

For the Black and White Selfie I decided to take it with one of my friends as I was meeting up with her for a socially distanced walk in the woods the weekend after we were given the Project. I asked her if it was ok to take a couple of photos for my college project and she happily obliged. Bellow are the two photos I took in both Black and White as well as colour so you can see the differences between them.

The photos in this column are the colour photos:

The photos in this column are the Black and White photos:

In this photo the main difference is the colour change of the vibrant green in he trees to the gray in black and white. The trees seem to have more life in the colour version of this photo compared to the black and white version.

The main thing I noticed with the change from colour to black and white was that my friend’s clothes blended more into the background as the shades are all very similar colours. So if I’m to film in Black and White I will need to be careful that the actors’ clothes don’t blend into the background and get lost. Unless, of course, I want to make a more mysterious photo by taking advantage of the colour blending.

One thing that my friend mentioned here is that it looks like her mask was photoshopped in slightly; which I have to agree with. 

For this photo the change to black and white has made my mask and shirt the same shade. Another thing it does is due to my waistcoat and the ground both being rather dark, they seem very similar due to the shade from the tree. My hat is the darkest thing in this photo and the viewers’ eyes are drawn to it as it stands out. Although it is also dark in the colour photo, it does not stand out as much as the viewers’ eyes are distracted more by the other colours. I could use this to draw attention to my hat as part of a story.

Black and White photo story

Here is my Black and White Photos that tell a story. I decided to tell a story of someone gardening during corona virus times, signified by them wearing a mask, and how upon a first look everything seems fine however if you look closer the plants are also diseased and dying no matter how hard the Gardner tries to keep them alive. But it finishes positively with hope due to the watering of the plants. 

And this isn’t just “someone” gardening, this is my mum doing what she did most days during lockdown as my parents decided to try and grow their own veg over lockdown. With varying degrees of success. 

For our Black and White Photo Essays we had to research 4 black and white photographers and chose one or two to base the style of our photos off of. Here are the 4 we looked at: 

  • Andre Kertesz 
  • Robert Capa
  • Laszlo Mogoly Nagy
  • Gyorgy Kepes (photograms)

After looking at some of Andre Kertesz’s photos he appeared to take more artistic photos, which are very good photos however I don’t feel like I can adequately replicate his style and tell a story about someone’s day.

From my research Robert Capa was mainly a war photographer who took more in the moment photos. And while he still framed them up they weren’t very posed which seemed more the style that I was going for, and ended up being the style I based my photos off.

Laszlo Mogoly Nagy’s style is very abstract which was far from what I was looking for. I was looking for a more realistic style of photography so this was very much not the style I would wish to replicate.

Gyorgy Kepes did photograms, which is taking a photo with light sensitive material as opposed to using a camera. While his photograms are very impressive I was aiming to take the photo with a camera so looking further into photograms wouldn’t help me create the style I was looking for. 

Below are the 5 photos I took to tell the story that I explained above: