Light and Shadow

Creating black-and-white images is the art of capturing and manipulating light and shadow. Historically, for many years black and white prevailed as the “true” artistic medium even after color photography had been developed. But black and white photography continues to have adherents today. Black and white photography is a unique art form. While all photography must consider matters of composition, meaning and interpretation, and possible color relationships, black and white images are concerned additionally with the interplay of light and gradations of shadow. Perhaps, color images capture light; black and white images capture shadows. Many of these images will be included in the forthcoming book, Light and Shadow.


A subset of black-and-white photography is the work in the early Twentieth Century by such influential artists as Steiglitz and Steichen. Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) founded the American secessionist movement in photography. Through his gallery and his journals (Camera Work was highly influential), Stieglitz was instrumental in promoting a new style of photography, the Pictorialist Movement. Pictorialism, in America and in Europe, represented a view of photography as an art form. Contrary to the effects of the new Kodak Camera which purported to make everyman a photographer, Pictorialism emphasized photography as an art form which would show the intent and interpretations of the photographer as artist. Pictorialist photography emphasized post-exposure technical manipulation. Pictorialist images are characterized by a soft focus and an emphasis on depicting natural scenes rather than artificial laboratory photos previously. I have digitally processed these images post exposure to produce a “look” typical of the Pictorialists of the Secessionist movement.

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