Matthew Seratti

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What makes black and white photography so important to you?

Black and white images are the best way for me to capture what it feels like when I take a picture. The mood and emotion I felt are “why” I took the picture at that exact moment and black and white images remove the distraction of color. While I enjoy color images from others, when I’m out on my own taking pictures I’m not attracted to bright or complementary colors, I’m attracted to shadows, perspective, moods, and contrasts.

What inspires you to create photographs?

I am inspired to take photographs by my own dreams; I tend to have vivid, epic dreams and am often disappointed to wake up and find out they are not real places or experiences. When I’m out photographing I try to find situations that recreate the disconnectedness of dreaming and I start to feel I am a spectator watching the world. Capturing this feeling in the camera, as much as possible, is what drives me to continue to take pictures. 

Why is black and white photography so important to our future in the art world?

Black and white photography, while usually thought of as part of a continuum with color, however it is a separate medium in my mind. Black and white photography requires different skill sets and techniques. Black and white vs color is like the comparison of watercolors to oils. They both create paintings but are different mediums. It is for this reason that black and white will not ‘fade away’ or be lost to color images. It is simply its own genre and represents a specific part of the art world. It has a rich history and it continues to present a certain method of communicating art as much as any other.