Imagine a world without color — where shadows and light are the only tools at your disposal to convey the rawness of candid street life.
This is the world of black-and-white film stocks, where monochrome mastery can make your street photography sing with a timeless quality that color just can't match.
If you’re an avid follower of my Instagram or YouTube channel, you know that I’ve recently made the decision to shoot my personal work exclusively on black-and-white film for 12 months; to see the world in a new way and create a body of work that truly reflected my personal style. Daunting? Absolutely. But one that I approached with a mix of excitement and trepidation.
While black and white film stocks are a great choice for street photography, the nuances of the medium mean that it requires a deeper understanding of light, contrast, and shape. Especially on a sunny day, where the interplay of light and shadows creates more dramatic effects that enhance the emotional impact of the image. Without the distraction of color, monochrome stocks help bring out the raw and gritty reality of street life.
When shooting in black and white, the colors of the scene become a non-issue. Initially, it feels weird to let go of the comfort of color and shift my attention to these other aspects of the image. But as I've continued to shoot exclusively in black and white for five months of my year-long challenge, I've found a sense of liberation in the freedom of monochrome. It's given me the space to experiment with texture, contrast, and mood in a way that color photography simply can't match.
Below are the stocks I used and various sample images of each.