The House of Love Pt 5: Reflections on Monochrome

'The House of Love Pt 5' follows on from the previous four chapters in this series. I encourage all new readers to check out the series in its entirety. Whilst most of the articles/blogs/whatever can be read as stand-alone stories, those who take the time to read the full series will likely garner more value having read the posts in order.

This post in particular reflects on images from the previous four posts as well as some of my thoughts on street photography, and patterns in behaviour noticed over those weeks.

Part 5 begins now.

As I have spent week 5 attending to organisational and email related duties, as well as being crippled by a migraine for two full days, this post is more a reflection of how I have been working so far.

One of the main things I have noticed, and no doubt you will have as well, is that I prefer to keep my street photography mostly black and white.

I'm not precisely sure why I've fallen into shooting so much black and white with my street photography, maybe it's an attraction to shadows and the play of light, maybe it's laziness, hell maybe its just my moody personality sides coming through, I don't know. What I do know is that I love black and white photography. It's gritty, stark, and almost quiet compared to colour photography. 

 A fellow street photographer takes a short break while waiting for traffic to clear his shot (Day 5)

A fellow street photographer takes a short break while waiting for traffic to clear his shot (Day 5)

There is something soothing about black and white images. All that chaos and noise falls away and regardless of how full or busy an image is, there is always the isolation of the subject's expression that captures my attention.

_U2A8291.jpg
_U2A7745.jpg

Even if the subject's face is shrouded in shadows, or not visible at all,  monochrome images always seem to express far more through body posture, movement and shape than many images captured in colour.

_U2A7558.jpg
_U2A7720.jpg

I love how, whilst shooting in strong light, dropping shadows to solid black helps to isolate your subject even further. The rest of the world (and all its distractions) just falls away, leaving only the subject. This negative space helps to draw focus to your subject even further when using a smaller depth of field; such as f/2.8.

The effect of shadows that dive to full black, as well as strong shadows over all, can be instrumental in helping to tell stories and lend gravitas to images that would simply be weak or pointless in colour.

A single shopper gazes skyward. Melbourne Central (Day 8)

 Looing over his menu, an elderly gentleman spies the camera at the moment he is recorded. (Day 5)

Looing over his menu, an elderly gentleman spies the camera at the moment he is recorded. (Day 5)

What do you enjoy about black and white photography? Do you prefer it over colour images? Do you disagree with what I've discussed?

I would love to hear other people's view points on this topic!
Leave me a comment or message if you would like to discuss this articles topics further, or even if you just have a comment you'd like to share with us.

Shameless Photography Plug

To help me continue funding both this blog and my on-going photography journey, all images featured in this article (excluding any featuring children) are available to purchase as prints!
If you would like to do so please email me at ben@benjaminodea.com and let me know which image(s) you'd like!