20 Feb 2010

a black and white life

When I think of why I have devoted my work to black and white and not colour street photography, I must acknowledge the significance of my childhood spent in the flicker of black and white television. Absorbing those images not only gave me a view of the world outside, they gave me a way of interpreting it.
Black and white was drama: it told me stories, it made me laugh, it brought me to tears. Images played in my mind in black and white...I'm sure I dreamed in black and white too! The composition, framing and sequence of those stories beat a path into my subconscious.
For me colour was a wrapper, black and white was the real stuff, there when you dug your nails beneath the surface.
It's not that I haven't had dalliances outside my relationship with black and white.
I've used a cameraphone to experience the immediacy of the taken image, there in the palm of my hand. My technique transferred easily enough. However I found colour in itself wasn't a significant element, a red flag to my senses. What I did discover was that, no longer driven by the sunlight and shadow that saturates my black and white work, I was at liberty to explore flat grey days as well as interior public spaces.
The results for me didn't have the same engagement, soul even, as my black and white work, but stepping outside my usual way of working tapped into something different. Watch this space!