The Power of Black & White Photography

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It was well over 40 years ago that I took my first photo: black & white  with a Brownie Hawkeye.
*** It was magical ***

A small french bulldog sits in the center of a large indoor flea market in Paris, France

Paris Flea Market

Ok, so this one wasn’t my first photo but I love it!

But years later, when my interest in photography became more serious, black & white photography again lured me in with its magic. I loved being in the darkroom for hours on end, developing good stock photos and printing the creations that began earlier in the light.  Although it’s been years since I have had the opportunity to work in the darkroom, I can still smell the chemicals and I miss seeing the image mysteriously appear before my eyes in the developing tray.

A little girl with a Zorro mask and hat on stands under a breezeway in her backyard.

Zorro

Two young asian sisters play in a field together

Sisters

I still love black and white photography. Today, thanks to the evolution of digital photography, you can create wonderful black & white images without ever entering a darkroom. Aside from the process, there is something timeless and powerful about the medium that allows me to tell stories that grip an audience’s attention in a visceral way.

Two brothers stand together on the end of a pier at sunset after a long day of swimming

Sam and Charlie

An elderly african-american man sings into a vintage microphone inside of a room full of antique radios

James

Through the black and white medium, I can capture raw emotions, create a depth of mood, and insert drama, all through the naked interplay of shadow and light, drawing on chiaroscuros by manipulating light and lens. Black and white strips everything bare; you are left with the pure essence of the photograph.

James

African-american blues musician, John Dee Holeman, sits on a chair outside of his Durham, NC home and smokes a cigarette while playing his guitar

John Dee Holeman

Allow me to share this sampling of my favorite black and white photographs taken over many years. I find that they still feel timeless.

An african-american musician walks down a New Orleans street with his giant sousaphone

Sousaphone

A woman jumps in the air while running down the banks of La Seine, Paris, France

La Seine

 

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