Louis Dazy Explores Moody Black and White Photography in “Smokescreen”

All images by Louis Dazy. Used with Creative Commons permission.

We take a break from Louis Dazy’s punchy colors and moody double exposures to revisit one of his old works. In a set from a few years ago called Smokescreen, the Paris-based film photographer showcased his eye for sentimental imagery sans the hues and overlaps that have become his signature style.

Louis is one of today’s photographers who have skillfully made the color and the unique character of film photography part of their vision and narrative. For those of us who are familiar with his style, it’s been mostly easy to spot his work. This monochrome series, however, is a unique peek into the moody approach that he was shaping.

Shot using a Nikon F2 and a mix of Kodak and Ilford films, Smokescreen showcases a mix of portraits and candid snaps made moody by grainy black and white. As the title suggests, the set is dominated by foggy scenes and misty imagery, a very different take on the emotive side of photography that we’re used to seeing from Louis. Instead of bokeh city lights and dreamy neon glow setting the mood of each scene, our attention is drawn towards the expressions, composition, and elements he presents in each frame. We are also encouraged to perceive how his subjects interact or relate to the misty surroundings they find themselves in.

Smokescreen may be plain and straightforward compared to Louis’ current work, but I find it interesting how it still has bits and pieces of the emotions that we now know him for. The portraits especially have the same intimate and candid feel all over them. It’s also a fascinating view at a photographer at the cusp of developing his own style or even experimenting to see how he could infuse his creative vision into a totally different approach.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about Louis Dazy’s work, we suggest checking out our interview about his double exposure portraits on film, and his dreamy Hong Kong snaps. Don’t forget to visit his website and Behance portfolio as well!