I love black and white photographs and prefer to work in the medium of black and white film. There is just something about a black and white print that moves me.
The first visual impact of any photograph for me is the interplay of light and dark. I use the camera more as a tool to sketch with, a first step to the real work in the darkroom. I try to keep it simple as my intent is to isolate the poetry and preserve the simplicity of beauty that caught my eye originally. The combination of using film, light, and chemistry brings me intense joy and satisfaction. The sense of magic that comes from seeing that first image appear in the developer never fails to amaze me.
Any comparison of digital and black and white film for me is like “apples and oranges”. The challenge of the chemical process where anything can and does go wrong is far more rewarding to me than digital enhancement. Each print is unique. Any mistake is permanent and cannot be “undone” or reverted to a last saved change. This is not to say I don’t like or appreciate digital photographs. While I may enjoy them, producing them just doesn’t offer the same pleasure.
Black and white film photography is an art I hope will never die.
August 12, 2015