Black and White and Why

Black and White Photography - Japanese Tea Gardens

I’ve been asked a couple times why do I shoot only Black and White film? It’s a question that I’ve thought about a number of times and have concluded a few responses.

One of the foremost reasons is that I am comfortable doing the entire process from loading my film, to matting the print, all at my home. With color, I’d need to send out film to a lab to be processed and for the prints to be printed. My humble darkroom is not equipted for color processing.

By processing my own black and white film I get to learn the characteristics of my favorite films and developers. With that knowlege and being very familiar with my camera, I can more easily predict outcomes and manipulate the process to get the results I want.

Another reason for shooting black and white film is the emotional effects of viewing the final product. We are used to seeing the world a certain way. Full color, 3 dimentional, depth, clarity, all 5 senses are involved. With photography there is a separation from reality. No longer are we viewing the scene in 3d with sounds and smells. This separation from reality is even greater in black and white. Black and white photography to me is emotional and dramatic.

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