Day 5 came around very quickly. I don’t think I’ve ever posted every day like this. Quite a challenge in itself. I’d like to just thank Sue J from Words Visual once again for inviting me to join in. It’s been great, I’ve enjoyed it and learnt a lot from it. I think as photographers we’re constantly learning and hopefully evolving and this challenge, although I was already exploring black and white film, has made me really stop and think about how we approach black and white as a distinct medium.
I’ve wanted to present a diverse range of images. On sunday, I posted a high key photograph of daffodils. Today I’m posting a low key photograph of Edward, a good friend who’s been with me a long time..
On my final day I’m going to invite Otto Von Munchow to take up the challenge. Otto writes a great deal about the art of photography, the creative process and how we should challenge ourselves in order to grow as photographers. Like me, I know Otto generally doesn’t get involved in these challenges and I also know that he’s a very busy man. However, we have talked about my interest in vintage cameras and film photography so although I don’t expect Otto to take up the 5 day challenge (although it’d be great if he did) I’d like to challenge him to dig out that darkroom stuff, buy the Rolleiflex he’s wanted for a long time, and to start taking pictures the old way again. I know that it’s doing my photography the world of good and bringing a nice breath of fresh air into the whole creative process.
For day 3 of the 5 day black and white challenge, I’ve gone back to my roots as it were. I guess I’m best known for my landscape photography work so I suppose it’s fitting that I post a few black and white landscape photographs but this presented me with a problem because for the most part, I’m not a fan of black and white landscape photography. I love colour. Why hide so much of what makes our planet so beautiful by taking away the colour?
I was very much of the same opinion when it came to photographing flowers in monochrome but yesterday’s photograph demonstrated that sometimes, by taking away the colour, we are forced to look beyond to shape, form, textures, tone and another layer of beauty is revealed. The same must be true of black and white landscape photographs.
I didn’t have the chance to get out with the film camera today and put this knowledge into practice so I’ve had a look in the archives and I’ve found a few pictures where I think that absence of colour, rather than taking something away from the photograph, brings something new to it.
Today I’m going to invite John Todaro to take up the 5 day black and white photography challenge. John’s photographs from Long Island, New York are incredibly beautiful and if you haven’t visited John’s blog, I heartily recommend it. There is of course no obligation to take up the challenge, it’s a bit of fun if time allows.
For my 2nd picture in the 5 day black and white challenge, I’m posting an image once more taken on Pan F Plus 50 film. This photograph, very different to yesterday’s, was taken with my Mamiya 645 Pro Medium Format film camera.
The picture sums up, for me, what is so special about film photography. It’s all about the grain in the image. Digital ‘noise’ is so very different. The grain is not so evident at this resolution but looking at the image full size, the grain gives a really lovely texture and a quality to the image that, although it can be mimicked in digital, it can’t be matched. As I’ve said before, I’m not about to sell my Nikon D800 and film is hard work by comparison to digital photography, but I’m finding working with film very satisfying.
I’ve used a very fine grain film, Pan F 50 Plus, for this image. Pan F however, is known for being quite contrasty, see yesterday’s image, with very rich blacks. To counteract the tendency for heavy contrast, with this photograph I set the ASA to 25 rather that 50 on my light meter (leading to slight over-exposure) and pulled the processing, that is, I stopped development before the standard time for the Ilford Ilfosol 3 developer that I was using..
Today I’m going to invite Tina of Travels and Trifles to take up the 5 day Black and White Challenge. Tina is of course known for her beautiful (colour) travel photography but there have been some gorgeous black and white images along the way. This is all a bit of fun and there is of course no pressure to take part but I’m seeing some beautiful black and white photography as a result of the challenge and that’s what it’s all about.
I’m grateful to Sue J of Words Visual who yesterday invited me to join in the 5 day black and white challenge. As I’m currently exploring black and white film photography using vintage cameras and developing my own black and white negatives, I was happy to take up the challenge and join in.
As some of you may remember, this little camera was a gift from a very good friend and fellow blogger Angi (Moments in Time). Angi came to Cornwall to take part in one of my workshops last year. The camera was a lovely gift and was the catalyst for my new-found interest in black and white film photography. We visited Roche Rock one afternoon as part of the workshop and I’ve been wanting to get back to take some pictures using the Agfa Billy ever since. The challenge was the perfect opportunity. This is a simple camera, the point and shoot of its day. It’s over 80 years old, produces a huge medium format negative and the quality from the little 3 element lens is amazing, I think you’ll agree..
F/11 1/125 sec. ASA/ISO 50
This negative was developed in Ilford ID11 stock 1+3 at 20°C for 15 minutes.
It is the nature of these challenges that we pass it on so today I’m going to invite Angi to take up the challenge but of course there is no pressure to take part, only if time allows..