Yes, deep moody B&W can capture and hold your attention!
I am always curious as to what people like and dislike about my images and make a point of posting them online to see what people think and how they respond. Sometimes the result of this practice really surprises me. The funny thing is that most of my personal favorites in B&W are not well received by the public! Yet those that I consider not as good get better reviews…
It does not matter what camera I choose to create with, Medium Format FIlm (Mamiya 645 AFDii) or digital (Fuji GFX 50r medium format), the output results are difficult to tell apart. I love working in film, its process from end to end defines art to me. But I also love working in medium format digital as well. It is a much shortened and simpler process and only takes a fraction of the time when compared to film. I think most of you will be hard pressed to pick the film/digital images that I am going to place in this post! So the source of the images make little difference to me.
Have you ever considered what it is about B&W photography that you are attracted to? What about it grabs you? For me, it is simple, the removal of color strips the scene to it soul allowing you to really become one with it. It removes the confusion and gives a pure view of the scene!
Consider the image of the approaching storm above. The clarity of the image draws me into the scene, the sharpness captures my interest and holds it. The dark moody tones make me feel like I am still standing right there!
I am not saying color work is bad, rather that I personally enjoy working in monochrome and enjoying the finished images processed in B&W much more that color work. I suppose that is why working in film is so addicting to me, everything about the process from working behind the camera, film processing, scanning and printing I find very enjoyable. But with the introduction of the Fuji GFX 50R camera system I am equally thrilled! You can shoot in both color and B&W on the fuji system. The real difference is that you can set it up with film emulation profiles in camera and generate and output true B&W RAW images! I find that I like using the Acros/red profile in camera because it matches my film work with actual Acros film! This gives me another entire workflow that matches my B&W film work 1:1! The fog image above in a good example of the ethereal nature that you can achieve when working in B&W.
The image above if Charlee Marie highlights this relationship between working with medium format Acros film and the medium format Fuji GFX 50r camera system. The amazing tonality of the boat and sky capture my attention and will not let it go. The subtle tonality of the wheel house is flawless. Overall this is one of my favorite images produced by the 50R, capturing the heart and soul of the shrimp boat in a non cluttered fashion usually associated with them on the easy to use medium format digital 50R! This particular image is one of my favorites from the 50R that has not been well received by the public, yet I cannot let it go…
The Port Royal Shrimpers is an example of everything coming together for a powerful image; Good Light, Clouds, Boats and reflective water plus being there! Of all the images captured with the 50R this one has the highest number of likes and comments online. Yes it is a powerful moody image but I am not sure if I personally like it more than the image above!
OK, on last image of Daddys Girls was taken last week on Acros Film on my 645 AFDII using a deep red contrast filter so the sky is a little darker. To me this is a powerful image and different from the digital work above it due to the deep red filter. Yet all other aspects of the image match equally to the work generated on the 50R system.
To me, this illustrates how well the film and digital systems can work together. There are times when working in film is just not possible or practical during travel where the 50R would work much better and easier.
I am happy that each camera system can complement each other so closely! It will make my life much easier and allow me to concentrate on creating art rather than on how I capture it!
As always please let me know what you think, I value your input!