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Dear <<First Name>>

Black and white are the colors of photography. 
To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected – Robert Frank

Black and White photography is the original photographic form, existing in several formats before color was even in available. As a result, black and white images are associated with the early Masters of Photography giving black and white photography a timeless and classic cache. 
 
Many of the leading photographers of the 20th century not only took their pictures with, and developed their own, black and white film.  They then made their own prints.  At the time, this control of the complete process was an argument in favor of the photograph as art and not merely the product of a machine.  As Ansel Adam’s noted, “The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance,” by a photographer.
 
Black and white images actually work on us in a different way than color.  By removing color from an image, the black and white photograph relies on other characteristics for a strong image.   The black and white image becomes centered around aspects, such as, the subject, the textures, shapes and patterns, and the composition.  Since we see every day in color, its’ removal makes us pause and look more closely at images – there is an enhanced focus on the subject and the emotion. 

Ansel Adams thought color could be distracting and diverted an artist’s attention from the achievement of his full potential when taking a photograph.  In this sense, black and white photographs are considered to be less about reality, as we usually see it, and more about an interpretation of things around us. Some say the black and white image reveals the essence of things.  The aesthetic language of black and white is often associated with being moody -- a somber form of imagery.
 

The Tetons and the Snake River (1942). 
Ansel Adams, one of the great masters, best known for his iconic black and white landscapes, mostly of the American West. Other photographers known for their black and white images include Roy DeCarava, Sally Mann, Robert Frank, Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier Bresson, Edward Weston, Walker Evans, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen to name a few.

 
From a photographer’s perspective, we often approach photographing in black and white differently than color.  As noted above, there is more focus on composition and textures.  There is also a tendency to visualize the subject and  what the composition will look like in shades of grey. It is like looking through the viewfinder with a monochrome filter on our eyes – you have to look at the image in its stripped down and purest form. In that form, the image is not all about the blacks and whites, as much as it is about the shades of gray.

 

“Color photography is like a novel that spells everything out in detail, whereas black-and-white photography is like poetry—
its strength isn’t in what’s said; it’s in what’s left out.”  – Heinrich van den Berg 

Mixing Black and White with Color Images
I
n last month’s newsletter I mentioned a number of photographers who are well-known for their color images.  Many of them worked almost exclusively in color.  The same can be said for some of the well-known black and white photographers (in some cases simply because color was not yet available).  Some photographers today will look at a specific subject and decide whether it should be a black and white or color image. You can read more about that discussion here.  Many photography projects stick to one or the other, rarely do color and black and white images get mixed together.

In the "Scarred Places" project (as well as in the website galleries, including the Roadside America ones) you will see that I make use of both color and black and white images. Just as the "Scarred Places" project juxtaposes images from today with historical stories of the past and uses both known and less well-known places/stories, it also uses both color and black and white infrared photographs. 

Generally speaking, black and white implies the past and has a timeless feel.  The infrared implies a mystic past or something to be imagined.  On the other hand, we see in color.  It is our day-to-day reality.  We often take color for granted.  It is documentary in nature and readily accessible.  Its ordinariness sometimes serves as a foil for the historical story in "Scarred Places".  Using both formats in one project brings together what appears disjointed and disconnected, the history and today, the past and current documentary. These visual and story juxtapositions are at the root of the "Scarred Places" project – it's complicated. Using color and black and white infrared together engages the viewer in questions about why the image is the format that it is.

I'll leave you with some examples to consider.

.

Making Prints
New Prints, New Homes


If you are thinking about some new artwork and can’t quite find what interests you on the website, feel free to get in touch and I’ll work with you to find something you love. 

I’ve recently had the pleasure to work with several of you to find images that work for your interest and your homes.  In several cases the images were not on the website, but given their interests, I dug into the archives and found some options for considerations.  These photographs were recently printed, as small limited editions, and found new homes.  Thank you to those individuals.

Feel free to email me if you are looking for something specific

Binhammer Photographs Website

It's Summertime
Since it's the summertime and many of us have time off or other things to do, Im going to take the month of August off from writing the newsletter.  I'll be back in September -- with, hopefully, more new thoughts and even more photographs.   

Best friend and roadtrip partner, Soco the dog, joins me in wishing you a great summer. He is 12 years old this week, 12 years since he was adopted. 
Enjoy any time off you may be having.  Make and take some memories.
A special thanks for being here and taking the time to check out the monthly newsletter. If you know others who might enjoy it, please pass the newsletter along and encourage them to sign up.
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www.BinhammerPhotographs.com
Richard@binhammerphotographs.com | 512-422-6867
5807 Harbour Hill Place, Midlothian VA, 23112
Copyright © 2018 Binhammer Photographs, All rights reserved.

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Binhammer Photographs · 5807 Harbour Hill Pl · Midlothian, VA 23112-2120 · USA

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