One of the types of Photography I really enjoy, and do miss is Monochrome, aka Black & White. For many years, pre-digital, right back to 1983 when I started learning Darkroom skills.
I had an LPL 35mm Enlarger and later, I purchased a Durst 606 Medium Format Enlarger off one of my Uncles. The latter was for developing the negatives from my battery-less Yashica 635 Twin-Lens Reflex with which I used a hand-held meter.
Whilst I wasn’t as adept in the Darkroom as some of the other Camera Club/Photographic Society members over the years, I did enjoy going into the Darkroom, developing, printing and experimenting.
Fast forward to the Digital era and certainly it is easier and quicker to get the image and there are many more options for manipulation these days compared to the Darkroom.
In recent years my focus has been squarely on learning Sketching, Watercolour, Line & Wash and Oil Painting as I remember ‘always wanting to learn them’ when I was younger. Myself, like everyone else, is not getting any younger, having recently turned 60 and I have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy these mediums. There is still so much more for me to learn and explore!
It shouldn’t be a surprise to people that I canned my Photoshop and Lightroom subscriptions a few years back. I still have a DSLR, however, I am looking to go in a different direction Photography-wise… A smaller, mid to high range compact and an iPad, which is a far cry from what I used to carry around. Much lighter too.
These days, I can see myself with a small backpack containing a compact camera, sketchbook, pencils, pigment liners, Watercolour field kit and sundry items.
I can see myself returning to Photography via Monochrome as (apart from when I used to take Slides), Monochrome was my favourite way of shooting images.
When I’m out and about this little kit complete with a small camera will allow me to elevate Photography once again in my life.
I’ve included a some images below of some of the things I used to like to shoot in Monochrome.
Written & Photographed by David Johnson
9 April 2023