Salim Hasbini

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What makes black and white photography so important to you?

Black and white is important to me because of how it makes me work and think. It strips away all other elements, leaving me to work with what matters most: composition and subject. To me, those two qualities are vital to creating memorable, powerful photographs.… 

What inspires you to create photographs?

view myself as a tourist in this world. I walk through people’s lives, using their actions to find the moments where everything aligns: light, timing, subject and emotion, creating something greater than its parts. Finding those instances is addictive and it’s a huge thrill whenever I come across such scenes.… 

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

Thanks to digital cameras and computers, photographers have more choices than ever when it comes to selecting the visual tone for their work. As a result, they can choose to draw on black and white’s reputation as having a “serious” look. This way, they can shape the way people view them as artists and how their work is interpreted by the audience

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Dave Kai-Piper (NSFW)

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Ideas and Images

What makes black and white photography so important to you?

Well, as someone who works with light – I see the everyday world in colour, the trees the sign posts the buses, everything is bright and bold. Everything competes for attention – the world can be a visually confusing place. These days creating black and white images can provide a little bit of simple in a complex world. Black and White has that – ‘artistic’ feel that seems to provide a more character based image. People look for the story rather than the ‘real world’ caught on paper.

When I shoot, I do tend to shoot RAW but all my cameras are set to Monochrome – if I shot film I think I would be a diehard Neopan 100 Acros user. Maybe I am backwards in shooting in Mono then converting to colour to see what it looked like in post. Shooting this way just lets me set the character and story of an image with out all the distractions of colour.

The other day I had a fantastic chat with John Bulmer about the times he first started to shoot with colour film – he was the first photographer to shoot colour for the Sunday Times Magazine in the UK, which was a big deal back then I can assure you ‘In 1965, Bulmer first photographed the north of England in colour, for the Sunday Times magazine. Colour photography was “a medium in which Bulmer was the British pioneer”, far ahead of such photographers as William Eggleston and Martin Parr.’ – So wikipedia says anyway. Either way, It was amazing to listen to his stories about how people perceive colour images and B&W – Monochrome still to this day being given the status of the choice for art based photography – Art Nude for example is still very much in Black and White – anything to do with a purposely given stylistic approach – will have a monochrome feeling – It is still very much the undertone of a ‘serious’ image.

A funny note though, linking back to how Monochrome is perceived – It was my grandad’s 90th birthday the other day and we went up as a family, guess who the photographer was… I spent the day shooting in Monochrome and of course, as these were photographs of family and important photographs for our family history I – as the artist, shot in Monochrome. My Grandad’s reply, could you not afford a colour roll ? Now, my grandad is pretty with it and knows I choose monochrome and do have the colour ones too, but his funny reply did make me think about how your generation also changes how you see black and white or colour photography.

What inspires you to create photographs?

I like to record things, I like to make interesting images to try and do something more with my life then just playing Call of Duty. The idea that I am moving forward to creating a body of work that I can leave behind me in nice, but I am so far behind doing what I want to be doing. These days I seem to be forever making plans then getting stuck in the day to day life and the bigger plans just get lost. Shooting photograph or creating an image once a week for me keeps me on that mental path that I have a direction in my life to. It reminds me that I am not just here to help other people with their dreams but I have my own too.

Monochrome or colour ? Not sure that is relevant here though, at the end of the day, creating things makes me happy, I would prefer to be happy and active than stuck behind a desk making other people’s dreams come true. Being able to earn a living with a camera is the most amazing thing – I wake up so happy – ‘most of the time’

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

I guess it important is not the way I think of it – it is a just a medium or tool that we can choose to use if we wish to apply the esthetics of monochrome imagery to our own works. Use it, don’t use it it does not really bother me that much. I think you can be a successful art based photographer and never make a monochrome image in your life. Personally with nudity, as in some of my work, I think there is a perception, rightly or wrongly that images are less sexual in black and white – which is nonsense in my eyes, I do think that there is weight in the idea that monochrome photography is helpful to remove the viewer from the realism of the image though. The other thing is that many of today’s classic photographs are Black and White, this is more down to a technological thing more than an artistic choice – when we today, want to make something that looks classic in nature we imitate that in which we see as classic today. Shooting in a colour or lack of today is nothing more than a tool to fit a style in which we wish to associate out work with.

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Jorge Garcia

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NYC Street Photographer Collective

NYC SPC on Instagram

My Collaboration Project with an LA street photographer

Instagram for Project

What makes black and white photography so important to you?

For me black and white allows me to see past the distraction of color and focus on the emotions of the subjects. I think it also helps the viewer focus on the subtleties of the image such as people expressions, gestures, geometry of the scene, and the beauty in the tones of light.…

What inspires you to create photographs?

I love to explore new places and see new things. I take great joy in walking the streets and observing people live out their day to day life. I want to capture, as best I can, the sense of the street. Its smells, movement,and energy. Life happens on the street. I am obsessed with trying to capture it in 500th of a second moments that quickly dissolve away into nothing. I guess I am in it for the chase.…

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

I feel creating black and white art is an important part of developing ones vision. Whether they be a photographer, film maker, or painter, black and white can teach you the fundamentals of light, tones, and geometry. Beyond that, black and white images have this ability to simplify images. It gets rid of a lot of bullshit and allows the user and viewer to focus on what is important, the humanity in frame. Not its surroundings and material garbage that we kill ourselves trying to collect. Black and white is the ultimate equalizer. Everyone looks beautiful in black and white.

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Nathan Blaney (NSFW)

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What makes black and white photography so important to you?

My brain just simply works in black and white. I can see an image waiting to happen and its always stronger in black and white. Color is rarely important to what’s happening in my personal work. For commercial clients, yes, I can work with color but it never feels as satisfying or rich. I’ve got some regular clients now who have come around to allowing me to shoot an assignment in black and white if I feel it produces stronger images… and they’re always happy. …

What inspires you to create photographs?

I have always been a visual artist, but not always a photographer. It took me quite some time to realize that one of the things I enjoyed about making art was the immediacy of certain mediums. Watercolor, acrylic, ink, etc dried rapidly and I could work in on top of what I already laid down. Photography was even more immediate – print your image and you see the results in seconds. Digital photography has made things even more instant. It all allows a quick creative response to the subject. I’ve found that my drive to create photos comes from an interest in capturing moments or ideas, some fleeting and some carefully crafted – but there’s an artistic challenge  in both that I really enjoy.…

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

While black and white is the historical basis of all photography and is important to explore for that reason alone, it is also a way of seeing and thinking.  Its easy to fall back on color in an image – it can be an easy crutch. Black and white images force an attention to technical elements that color sometimes lets slide. I see it as roughly equivalent to why we spend so much time drawing with charcoal in art school – yes its an easy to manipulate medium, but more importantly it demands your attention depicting an image in monochrome. Not an easy feat in many cases.

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