Monday, July 23, 2007

Motion Pictures

Everyone says they "absolutely love black and white photography" and I do believe them. But, what type of b/w photography? Weddings? Photojournalism? Fine art? I happen to like all of the above, especially fine art b/w. And within the fine art b/w genre, I have come to really love images with these three elements:

1. Long exposures with moving objects (water, clouds, cars)
2. Range of mid tones (like a good charcoal sketch)
3. Rich blacks (like motor oil)

While I have taken lots of images like this as experimentations (eg. the North Sea jetty on the left), there are a few photographers who actually make a living in the "fine art b/w long exposure moving object range of mid tones rich blacks" genre.

One of these photographers is Josef Hoflehner. I'm on Josef's mailing list so I get to see his newest projects. I enjoy looking at his work so much that he's probably sick of me telling him. Another great talent is Michael Kenna who I saw speak at FotoFusion back in 2001. He showed some great work and talked about how he has been able to shoot these types of images due to one particular aspect of his personality: he doesn't mind spending long amounts of time completely alone. (I am also a bit like this except I do need to check in with my wife and kids after a few days.) Another point Kenna made was that it's not about equipment or f-stops but instead about what inspires you or moves you to shoot.

If you still want to see more images like this, check out Chip Forelli. Aside from Kenna, who shoots ads for Volvo in his spare time, Forelli is one of the more commercially successful photographers in this genre. I've seen his images for sale in mass market retail stores, on calendars and even in my Mac's desktop and screen saver options.

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