Thursday 2 September 2010

50ml Black and White Challenge

It was a challenge in Black and White Photography Magazine that recently inspired me to spend a couple of months shooting exclusively in Black and White and only using a 50ml lens.

Happy Couple
The challenge appealed to me because (as I have said before) I am very fond of 50ml and wanted to get a better feel for B+W photography. Reflecting on this, I realised that I have strong feelings about “art” in general and one of the things I look for in all art is to see a masterful and virtuosic application of a constrained form. For a poet this means working with verses, rhymes, syllabic rhythms. For a photographer this means working within the limitations of the medium: black and white, fixed focal length, film speed or any other limiting factors.

Off Duty Nets
I appreciate this is not the way everyone views it but for me the excitement comes from seeing what can be done with less rather than more. I think this is why I instinctively prefer fixed focal lengths and using 35mm film. It is not about having masses of equipment in order to capitalise on every opportunity and control all the variables, it is about the challenge of exploring different subjects with a basic setup.

So the first roll of my 50ml black and white adventure came back today and I am looking forward to continuing to play around within the boundaries that I have set for myself for a couple more months.

Lazy Dartmouth Morning
The examples in this post were shot on expired Kodak T400CN in a Mamiya ZE-2. This is the first time I have used Kodak B+W C41 process film and ... well ... I don’t feel that the black is quite as good as the Ilford XP2 series (it is certainly grainier) but overall, I am chuffed with the outcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment