A Year of Black and White

Given it’s the end of the year, I always like to try and set objectives for the year ahead.

Quite often they don’t work out well – in truth, most objectives I try and set myself quite often come to little, but I like to try and keep myself thinking.

A year in black and white

For 2022, the aim is to shoot exclusively black and white.

Let’s forget about colour, let’s forget about fancy editing – let’s get those creative juices flowing through simple black & white and the glorious tones that monochrome gives you.

I enjoy the colours of the woodland, but quite often find it difficult to keep it consistent. It’s a constant dilemma I have – shooting in colour or black and white.

Maybe that’s to do with my colour blindness, maybe it’s the lack of subtlety in my editing. Whatever it is, I do find it is frustrating at times.

Shooting and editing in black and white should also provide a more consistent approach to my work as well.

Of course shooting in RAW means a colour RAW file, but I can set my camera bodies to show a black and white preview, with Lightroom I can set a black and white import and with careful simple editing maybe it’s just possible to alleviate some of those creative worries that colour gives me.

Keeping it simple

Once again, my feelings turn to gear. It’s a constant internal churn I have with myself, I have a couple of different cameras that I turn to and despite the enjoyment of using different makes and models I crave simplicity.

I’m happiest when I have a camera body and a single lens with me. Even the introduction of a second lens often causes me to consider which focal length would be better for any specific composition when I’m out.

I’d like to remove such feelings, so the plan is to use my M10-P as my main body and the 35mm Summicron for as much work as I can.

My Precious!

I love the ‘cron 35mm, the image quality and field of view suit me, it really is the reason why I bought a Leica body for that lens.

Looking at my LR catalogue I shoot at around 35mm focal length for approximately 90% of all of the images I take. Even when I use a zoom lens I tend to see a composition at that kind of focal length.

As I’ve written about previously, the Leica M bodies are a bit of a compromise for a lot of what I do, but it’s a camera I love to use – it makes me want to take photographs and when I use other systems I feel like I’m simply pressing the shutter button rather than making a concerted effort into finding out how to make the image.

So, the objectives remain pretty similar to those I made around the same time last year – only this time the resolve feels more solid.

Only time will tell I guess!

3 responses to “A Year of Black and White”

  1. Hi I use the fuji-x system. I use mainly the 35mm f2 lens (52 mm FF). I too like to do my photowalks with using just one lens. Mostly I carry my 50mm F2 also with me. For me the simplicity of only using one lens is an extra reason to really focus on perfecting the composition. My experience is that it makes the composition better. To put it simple Iám getting more and more a “50mm” view at the world arround me. I do not miss other focal lenghts. Wider focal lenghts do not result in a normal view of the world. With my 50mm view it is possible to create images that are more natural. You can imagine yourself to be “in the scene”. My main reason for using the 50mm f2 lens is when I cannot come close enough to the scene I want to take a photograph of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments Ruud, I completely agree with what you say. I guess it all comes down to how we see the world and what we are comfortable to use. I have definitely over the years come to 35mm focal length and now find it to compose much more easily than ever before. I started out with 50mm but over time having that wider view has become more favourable to me.

      Like

  2. Yes it is the normal process of the photographic journey. One of the known Leica photographers Thorsten Overgaard says you are a “35mm or 50mm person (FF)”. I still like to process images in color The softness of the Astia film simulation I realy like. I’am in the process of making a photobook of a little peace of nature close to home. But it will be in black and white. I have a lot of images and Yes it is difficult to get the colors matching. The seasons create a different colormix. So I have decided to do al images in black and white. I use Capture one. Would like to shoot some imges with a Leica someday.

    Liked by 1 person

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