In the age of smartphone photography, black and white photos can feel like an afterthought. You have the option of making any image greyscale with your favorite app at any time. That free and loose ability means you never have to choose, but it also means not shooting with intent. What does that mean? As a person creating an image, you are fashioning a narrative in this slice of time. You are the director of what is transpiring in front of your lens.
When you shoot with purpose and foresight in photography or film, you ask yourself what is the medium conveying the message? Filmstock or digital? Color or black and white? Muted or vibrant? Gradients or punchy? Wide or tight shots? You are planning out a series of stories with an desire to evoke a certain set of emotions. A storyteller plots out these decisions before a single frame is shot. It isn’t just an arbitrary commitment; it helps you compose appropriately so that the final product resonates in the viewer and elicits the response you want.
When one choose to shoot in black and white, your subject is all that matters. Without planning, it can be too easy to create too many images that on their own might work yet as a collective lack cohesion. It’s especially true in the post-smartphone era where we all snap and edit a slew of photos only to overlook the obvious – there are just a bunch of pretty photos with nothing to tell us.
That’s where Director and Photographer Sam DeAngelis comes in. Here is someone who spends his days wanting to tell a story with any camera put in his hands. Black magic, Canon, RED—iphone. It doesn’t matter what the device is, as long as he’s imparted his version of reality in the letterbox. In this perspective on Blading Cup, we see the world distilled down into a gritty greyscale montage of raw moments. How do I know that was his intent? The camera raws were all in black and white. That’s a conscious decision before the shutter snaps.
Here is Sam’s monochromatic mosaic movements from that weekend.
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