So this is my second idea to keep me doing something on a regular basis. Seeing many other photographers coming up with specific themes to post on a particular day I thought why not do the same thing. So here I am with Mono Monday. The only rule I’m placing on myself is that I post one picture every Monday in mono, It doesn’t necessarily have to be black and white, it could be sepia or indeed any colour so long at it only has ranges of light to darks within that colour. The picture doesn’t have to be new either, in fact I’ve copped out on today’s picture as it’s one I did a while back, but hey, I’ve just had this idea. The aim is simply to get me to see more things with a mono mindset.
The reason I’m doing this is quite simple; I love looking at black and white images yet I do not do enough of them.
Stripping the colour out of a scene can do a couple of things; Firstly it simplifies a picture getting rid of what could be distracting elements, for example something that is bright red but behind the subject you are focusing on will no doubt lead your eye away from the main subject. Secondly it can add mood and drama. Take the image above; Taken on the streets of St tropez, a very affluent part of society, this poor girl no doubt has to beg on the streets day after day to survive. To me colour can represent happiness and there certainly is no colour in her life, so I took it out to make the scene more powerful and one that perhaps represents her plight more accurately.
With some clever use of dodging and burning to lighten and darken areas within a picture you can carefully mould a photograph to show something in the way you felt whilst taking. I recommend everyone take a look at the work of Ansel Adams, a true master of black and white photography, and look at his ability to shape a picture to how he wanted it rather that just transferring what was on the film to paper. But don’t just stop at Ansel, there are many other great photographers to look at and take inspiration from, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus and Brassai to name but a few.
Lets hope I can keep this up. 😉