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Black and White Photography

A father and son walking down a street.

Black and White Photography

My favourite style of photography is Black and white, especially street photography. I was clearing out a cupboard the other week where I found some of my own black and white prints. It brought back great memories from my college days where we would go out and about shooting assignments. We would then take the films back to develop them before spending hours and hours In the darkroom printing. Compared to shooting digitally today, It was a long and laborious process, but it was a rewarding experience when you had a nice print In your hands at the end. It really made you appreciate the art of photography, and shooting film really was an art form. When you were shooting film, you didn’t know how your pictures were going to turn out. You had to worry about getting your subject In focus, getting the exposure right and then you had to make sure you developed them using the correct process. Even after all that, you still didn’t know if your picture was a belter or one for the bin.

As much as I loved shooting film, and still do sometimes. I’m happy shooting digitally these days. The thought of shooting a big job on film actually terrifies me. I couldn’t imagine shooting a job and not knowing if you have anything decent or even have a correctly exposed negative or tranny. I’ve only shot one roll of film commercially. I feel that I missed out In a way but I am proud and glad that I learned on film.

My favourite photographer is Robert Doisneau, he was a French photographer who came to promenance In the 1930’s shooting street photography In Paris. He is accredited as pioneering photojournalism along with Henri Cartier-Bresson. I was attracted to his work because of his mastery of light and shade as well as the touch of humour that he included In many of his photographs.

The following pictures I took while I was at college. They are not the best by any means but I thought I would share them with you as they have been sitting In a cupboard for ten to fifteen years. Most of them at best are just your average photography student standard but there are one or two that I really like.

This picture was taken on Buchanan St. I was walking down the road when I noticed lots of people coming out of the St George’s Tron Church. As It was winter everyone was wrapped up In very dark clothes. I noticed a woman holding a baby who was dressed In white looking directly at me. I dropped a quick frame or two and loved how It turned out.

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A few years later I treated myself to a hassleblad medium format camera which I loved. The quality of the lens was unreal and probably the sharpest that I have ever used. Here are some examples of what i shot while using It.

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Here are some portraits I took In the studio at college. 

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This one here is from my very early days while I was learning the basics at Clydebank College. I was out In my garden one day messing about. I took this picture of a key In my shed door. It wasn’t untill I had developed and printed the image that I noticed a small cattapillar on the key.

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If anyone reading this is interested In trying out some street photography, I would recommend shooting at the weekends. I find that during the week people are usually rushing about with their heads down. At the weekends everyone is a lot more relaxed which makes It easier to get good shots.

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