There’s something about old-school black and white photos. Before the day when you could activate the HDR feature on your iPhone and snap away, photographers had to pay a special mind to light, composition, depth of field, etc. to engage the viewer.
Please find enclosed some of my favorite black and white photos.
This was once my profile picture on Facebook because I am an intelligent, provocative person (read: sarcasm), and a friend of mine commented that this was “the sexiest fork” she’d ever seen.
I’m inclined to agree.
The above photo was taken by Andre Kertesz in 1928 during his “French period” because, you know, pretty much every artist of any creative heft needs a French period.
The shadow play and contrast is what makes this one of my favorites. Kertesz once said: “I write with light.” I can’t think of a more apt description for this photo.
Apart from photographing cutlery, Kertesz was well known for his distorted, nude pictures, but I’m not showing any of those. This is a family blog post.
Here’s a few more from Kertesz.
There’s a whole series of these candid gems by French photographer Robert Doisneau. This one is unequivocally the best. It’s almost perfect. The woman’s hand gesture is a well-known tip-off for someone pontificating passionately about the gripping nature of some form of art, while the sideways glance of the top hat with a mustache beneath it shows that, even while grasping the arm of his lady, his eyes are prone to wander.
Doisneau was a master at capturing such moments. He once said “the marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected you find in the street.”
Here are a few more.
There’s not much to say about Ansel Adams that already hasn’t been said. He’s a wizard in the dark room and probably had gigantic shoulder muscles from lugging around his full frame, high resolution cameras (during a long trip in 1920, he had a donkey burdened with 100 pounds of equipment and gear, while he carried a backpack with another 30 pounds).
Here’s another of my favorites that showcases Adams’ mastery of burning and dodging in the darkroom.
More great black and white photos to come soon….