In the beginning, there was black and white. That’s where you began. It’s where you learned. I skipped over that part. I have no formal training at all. I picked up a camera and started to play. And I played in black and white.
It was never my primary film of choice. I was a slide guy (and that is an enormous pain in the ass today. Somehow I have to come up with the money to get hundreds of slides digitized. Sigh. Prints I can scan quickly). While I love shooting in color, I continue to be fascinated by the unique artistic and creative challenges of black and white.
So I’ve been playing with some shots recently.
This one is almost cheating. The keyboard is black and white except for some orange icons on the “f” function keys. But the original color version just felt blah to me. So I flipped this to black and white and cropped it a little. Everything seems to pop a little more for me here.
This one started as a much wider angle view of the washing machine at the laundromat. If you spend much time in such places, you know that boredom is the one constant. So it can be a great place to try and find some way of being creative. Because I didn’t want a perfectly centered picture, I took this from the side. That resulted in an image that looked titled and no amount of simple cropping fixed it. So I zoomed in tight on just the door. The blur in the window is my laundry underway. Laundromats give me a slightly disoriented feeling, and the blur of the clothes plus the slight blurriness on the edge of the door give me that same feeling. Again, almost a cheat because the majority of the item is silver. But what little color there was in the image was distracting, so the B&W works here again.
There was plenty of color here, but again it felt like it distracted. This is my writing desk set up. The dual screen is a new experiment that I find intriguing. The lighting has a noir feeling to it that is offset by the whimsey of the rubber ducks and Wrimer, my writing companions.
Just as when people ask writers where our ideas come from, the answer for photographers is the same. Ideas are everywhere. You just need to keep your eyes open for them and be willing to experiment along the way. Play with something new, go back to something old. The process of playing is a large part of the process of creativity.
All images are the property of J.D. Phillippi. All rights reserved.