I am right in the middle of my vacation. I went to the beach over the weekend with two of my best friends from elementary school and now I am in LA visiting my girlfriend. Today is her birthday and we are going to some sort of spa or something in the middle of the desert for a couple of days. Fortunately I got a few updates ready to go before I left so I should have two or three updates for you between now and when I finally get back to NYC next week.
I always preferred color to black and white in photography. I shot black and white film in high school and college but as soon as they let me in a color dark room I switched to color. I generally feel like black and white is just an easy way out… if you can’t shoot color you can just make it black and white and maybe no one will notice. That being said I do feel black and white has a place and is just another tool like digital or Polaroid or iPhones or whatever you want to make pictures with.
A few years ago I wanted to sort of get back to my roots and really take the time to compose and manual focus and just force myself to slow down before taking a photo. I dug out the old Vietnam era Pentax that was my mothers that I shot on when I was first learning my craft. I started taking it to shoots with me and just keeping a black and white roll of film it it at all times. I shot a bunch of stuff with it, but a lot of what I was shooting were nudes of girls in bed.
I started shooting all these nudes with a 50mm lens because the 50mm 1.4 was the fastest lens I have for my old Pentax and since you can’t push your ISO much past 800 when shooting 400 speed film at 1.4 was my best chance of being able to shoot in a dark bedroom without strobes. You can ignore that last sentence if you don’t know anything about photography but long story short when you shoot at 1.4 it causes a severe lack of depth of field which makes for really soft photos where most of the photo is blurry except for the main point of focus. It’s a nice effect if done right and people seem to like “artistic” nudes shot like that.
Anyway, the point of this is that I have learned to love shooting black and white again. It’s really nice to see the grain in the film because black and white digital looks like shit to me. Black and white film looks better to me than it has ever in a world where digital is so pervasive. I think you will dig on these photos and after these nudes go up I have a second series of black and white portraits that I hope you will enjoy as well despite the lack of nudity.