After you get past all the technology to generate a print, there is still something special about seeing a matted, framed print hung on a wall. For years this was the method of photographic expression, and for many of those years B&W prints were all that existed. Now you have a choice of digital or traditional darkroom. For whatever reason, fine art B&W prints still hold magical powers to communicate in ways that colour prints cannot, since in many cases stripping the colour away allows the essence of the image to be revealed.
Here are a variety of subjects presented in B&W; some are larger sets, some just a handful of images.
A flight above the Namib Desert generated an unusual perspective of sand dunes. As with most projects, this was an evolution in development and printing, as well as intent. Black-and-white imagery was not in my thoughts while photographing the dunes, as the rich reds, soft yellows, and occasional splashes of black provided captivating color imagery. The more I worked with the images the more I was intrigued by the abstract nature of some, and began converting many to black and white. Quite simply, these images are an exploration of tonal relationships, lines, and textures. Seen in black and white they offer a bit more of an other-worldly interpretation of an other-worldly experience. I feel extremely fortunate for the opportunity, and the resulting images. A group of these images were accepted for publication in the LensWork magazine, Issue #90 (Sept/Oct 2010).
Venice is unique, and every opportunity to visit is therefore special. For hundreds of years Venice was at the merchant and cultural crossroads of the civilized world. You need to visit for at least a week, which is hardly enough time to get comfortable just finding your way around the narrow streets and over the canal bridges without constant reference to maps.
Go, enjoy, walk, relax. A set of these images received a Lucie Award in the International Photoawards Competition for 2005. A few additional images have been added from a trip in 2011.
Despite the rich saturated colours, the traditional representation of the dogwoods didn`t approach what I felt while shooting one wet spring morning. As I worked with the images, they seemed to migrate of their own accord to a blur montage effect with this heavy sepia toning. The images now have a more magical quality, in keeping with the shooting experience.
There is no lack of churches throughout Greece, but the images here are of just a few churches. To people brought up in western civilization, the cross is a powerful symbol that adds not only to the composition but also the impact of the images. In addition to the churches, there are plenty of white-on-white abstracts to play with.
Death Valley encompasses some unique geographic features. Certainly the sand dunes at Mesquite Flat provide abundant opportunity for photography, especially with the low light of morning and evening. Also attractive in colour, these images are pushed further into abstractions in black and white.
These are bear images (presented high key on the background of snow), and bird colony images from the incredible murre cliffs at Alkafjellet.
Located in Ottawa, Beechwood offers a variety of intimate shooting opportunities. I try to visit in each season if conditions are appealing. This small collection will be expanded with future visits.
Mountains, glaciers, and icebergs! Spectacular scenery that can often be converted successfully into both realistic as well as abstract images.
I like both buildings with their angular forms as well as old cars with their soft curves. Expressed in B&W, often as a blur montage, the images evoke nostalgia and a touch of melancholy.
Sea stacks and wide sand beaches. Silhouettes at sunset or soft forms in the fog.
There is a great variety of subject matter in and around the park that presents very well in B&W. A spring snow at elevation was a bonus on one trip.
No lack of images of Paris over the years by millions of people, but given the opportunity, you must go and make your own, even if there for just a few days.
These images were taken in the Brickworks in Toronto, and other abandoned locations. The props reinforce the title for the series. Abandonment is something that we all face during our lifetimes, whether on personal, cultural or professional levels. We abandon beliefs, ideas, hopes, fears, dreams, and each other. I expect that this series will be expanded as I explore the many other interpretations of this theme.
All images and site content copyright Bill Young 2017. All rights reserved.