Sunday, June 14, 2015

Architecture in black and white

click photo to enlarge
My earliest "serious" photography at the start of the 1970s involved a Russian Zenit E 35mm camera with a 58mm f2 lens and lots of rolls of Ilford FP4 film. It was a fairly basic setup but all that was needed to get an understanding of the basic principles of good exposure and composition. Later I added a couple of lenses, then moved to an Olympus OM-1n, and after a year or two began my own film processing and printing, again, in black and white. At this time colour prints were the favoured means of printing, but I went with black and white and slides (transparencies). At around the time our first child was born I started using colour film.

During those years, and since, architecture has been one of the subjects at which I have most often pointed my camera. Moreover, architecture has been the subject through which I have most frequently reverted to black and white. There's something about the sharp edges and details of buildings, as well as their three-dimensionality, that makes them ideal subjects for presenting in monochrome. Today's photograph is of the Wilberforce Health Centre, Hull, a 2011 building by HLM Architects. The colours of the building are off-white and grey with highlights of dark red, quite eye-catching. However, the contrasts of the colours alongside the shadows produced by a bright June day suggested to me that the building might look well with a black and white treatment. I think it does, especially with the digital equivalent of a yellow filter that darkens the sky and gives the building greater emphasis.

Incidentally, you may wonder what has happened to the rightmost cyclist's bicycle - it appears to be missing a wheel. In fact it's a small-wheel folding bike produced by the British manufacturer, Brompton and it's yet to be unfolded.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 9mm (18mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/1600 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On