Why do I prefer black and white over colour photography?
My view on colour photography is simple, it is used to perfectly mirror the colours of the scene. Most of my commercial work necessitates a natural colour rendition. Conference photography is normally never edited with a vintage feel or rendered black and white, for example. The greatest play on colours seem to be in the portrait and wedding market where vintage tones to bring out the theme of a day or orange hues to highlight an autumnal, sunset portrait shoot. Yes, how lovely those images can be. Why oh why then, do I have an unshakable innate tendency to turn my images black and white? Faced with such fear I am currently working on a colour only project. I have bought Fuji 1000C for the Polaroid, Velvia 100 E6 for the Hasselblad and Provia for the Minolta. Together with the digital camera, I now have an array of colour film, each with their own nuances which I hope to explore. I have promised myself to resist the urge to go near the de-saturation levels in post-production.
My research somehow led me to look at the work of Sarah Moon her fashion photographs are a study in colour and shape, as oppose to perfectly sharp portraits. Her work in the 1970’s for fashion houses such as Cacharel summed up the period and who could forget the iconic Anais Anais advertising. More recently her fashion work expertly uses colour and shape to add mood and I find her work thought provoking with it’s deep and meaningful nuances.
My preparation included buying metres of poly-cotton fabric in bright colours for both backdrops and body wrapping! Using my 6 x 7 ft light tent as a backdrop I attached the fabric with clothes pegs. I set the digital SLR camera on slow shutter speeds of about 15th of a second and placed it on a tripod, used a 50mm lens at f4 and kept to ISO down to 100 as I wanted to retain the fine grain.
My Final Results – Colour Blocking with fabric