Saturday, March 21, 2009

Black and White

We just returned from a retrospective at the Copper Shade Tree and Gallery at Round Top of photographs made by Alfred Black. (A benefit for the Round Top Library.) Most of them are black and white, made with a 70mm Hasselblad (sp)large format camera. This is the type of box camera where you get under a hood and compose the photograph on ground glass, upside down. The result in the hands of a competent photographer--and Black was much more than competent--is gorgeous. Blacks like silk, whites burning with intensity. I was searching the internet for examples of his work, but I couldn't find any. Black worked as a petroleum landman for much of his career, making photographs in the places where his work would take him. Seeing those beautiful, hand-developed pictures just makes me ache again for the skill, the patience, the equipment, necessary to render light so seductively.

6 comments:

Sydney said...

I wonder if you would like my BFF's photos then. She shoots only in B&W, but in negative and one of them is in the collection at MOMA NYC. She has some really interesting stuff. Is also a professor and head of the photography dept. at Hofstra.

www.barbarajaffe.com

welcome back! Great weather for your return

Bdogs said...

Sydney, I just looked at her site. Those images are extraordinary. The luminosity is incredible. Thank you so much for the link. I wonder how she prints negatives...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Bdogs - I am afraid that those days have passed when you had to have such skill to take a good photograph - now everything is digital and although the images are fantastic they don't need the skills, creativity and ingenuity that the old ones did.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I am sad to say that those days have largely gone with the advent of digital camers - but like you I look at some of the old photographs that took such skill to take andI regret their passing.

jinksy said...

This takes me back to art college days - we had a couple of the big, old get-under-the-black-cloth cameras to use sometimes, when we were learning about photography. The latest, tiny digital ones are worlds apart!

Bdogs said...

I've seen some wonderful digital pictures, too, and have been trying to achieve the sharpness on my own that I see in published work. I could never get the hang of working on glass upside down.And you had to have the patience of stones, never my strong point.