Just over a year and a half ago I needed a project and spoke to my photography tutor Dave Hodgkinson http://www.davehodgkinson.com/blog/. He tasked me to study Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and other famous and influential Street Photographers.
Since then my focus in Photography has been Street because as soon as I got out there is becomes very obvious quite how difficult it is and how many mental obstacles you need to overcome to get truly amazing Street shots.
As you may or may not know, Street is traditionally shot in Black and White and I duly went about converting my images, and that is the point of this post.
I’m saying goodbye to Black and White.
It’s not because I don’t like Black and White images, it’s not because I think i still have a long way to go before I can create truly great Black and White conversions, even though I do. It’s because I feel more comfortable in colour. It feels more natural to me and after looking at images by nick Turpin and Martin Parr I just feel that moving to colour will give me more reach. At the moment I can’t imagine exhibiting Black and White images. The pictures I’m making are composed in colour and in so many cases an element on their modernity and reality seems to be stripped out when I remove the colour.
This has been whirring around my head for sometime but only really settled whilst I was in California recently staying on my brothers farm. He wanted images he could use on postcards for the people who buy organic produce from him. Obviously these were in colour and there wasn’t even a conversation about whether the pictures should be in colour, the beautiful Lavender, Cherry trees and Sunsets of the farm can’t be represented in Black and White.
However, when I went into San Francisco and shot some Street, I didn’t turn them into Black and White and suddenly felt they spoke to me through the colour. The looked modern, they looked more real and, maybe because I have become more proficient at processing my images in Lightroom, they looked more professional.
So when I recently had my photography portfolio review with Gina Glover it was great to hear that one of the first things she told me was that I was a colour photographer and she thought I should stop shooting in Black and White.
So this is a collection of the Black and White Street shots. Looking back I now realise how far I’ve come but I feel I need to continue this journey in colour. I’m sure it will change what I shoot, I think it already has and I hope it’s going to extend, enhance and expand the images I make.