Intro to B&W Photography

One of the classes that I’m taking in my first semester of college is Intro to Black and White Photography. I was really worried about having to deal with the technical aspect of photography, but I’m finding it to be relatively easy to understand, and concepts of shutter speed, aperture, exposure and contrast are a lot clearer to me now.

The first two pictures are photograms, which are incredibly easy to make: in the darkroom, I placed a couple of objects under the enlarger’s light and on top of resin-coated paper. The light ‘tainted’ the resin black and left the object’s outlines white. The 1st picture is a leaf that I kind of punctured with my nails (I wanted to see how much detail I could get out of it), and the 2nd picture is a ‘composition’ of altoids and a random plastic wrapper.

Next are pinhole photographs, which I made with my own shoebox pinhole camera (which kind of looked like this one: )

It was a great way to understand how daylight reflects to imprint on film, and how shutter speed and exposure affect the photograph, but it was a little too manual for me: I had to stay put and not move the box for minutes at a time if I wanted a sharp image, and even then, I couldn’t control exterior factors like wind/clouds/people walking in front of me/people turning the lights on and off. The cool part was actually developing the film in the darkroom, because I got to experiment with the chemicals that ‘reveal’, wash and fix the image.

This one’s my favorite! The film moved inside the camera, which is probably why the edges are fuzzy. I like how the power lines create a spiral (sorry, a spillick).

I’v started working with a proper film camera, but I’ll save these pictures for the next post.

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