Style evolution

You may have noticed that I have recently posted more black and white images. Two things conspired to inspire this. First was the start of a four-month-long (November, December, January and February) Winter Light in Black and White project by The Photographers Group and the other was a recent post by photographer Dan James who posed the question, "How has your photography style evolved (or, like mine, not!) over the years?"

My wife "found" a box of film negatives and positives she had put away for safekeeping. Among them was a large set of Ilford HP5, Tri-X Pan and T-MAX B&W negatives from my early days (30+ years ago) of photography. It seems that I preferred shooting in B&W, but I don't remember why. Perhaps I thought it was "arty" and cool. I was a moody college student in the mid-'80s, wore only black and was very much into punk music.

My early photography, with a few exceptions, was minimalist and focused on either objects or people. For some reason, when I switched to digital in the late '90s, I rarely shot B&W, and I rarely shot objects. I don't know why.

Drew University, 1988 | Pentax P3 | SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/2 | Kodak T-MAX 400

With digital photography, I was focused on documentary photography; age-related milestones of my children, family day trips, weddings, etc. Then I discovered I enjoyed landscapes and cityscapes and did that for a while.

In 2018 and 2019, health-related challenges kept me from exploring the forests and city alone, so I was limited in what I photographed. In 2019, in between radiation treatments and doctors visits, I started doing more street photography in Philadelphia using adapted vintage 35mm film lenses. Street photography is essentially documentary photography. I was back where I started, and I think it was a good thing.

I made my Philadelphia street photographs in B&W and colour, but the colour images are muted. I used the Classic Chrome film simulation on my Fuji X-T2. In retrospect, I should have captured those in B&W. Now, after eight months of global pandemic lockdown, I can see that I am back to being moody again.

J B Kline New & Vintage, Bridge St, Lambertville, New Jersey | Pentax P3 | Pentax-A SMC 50mm f/2 | ISO 400 | Ilford HP5 Plus 400

I am excited about the Winter Light in Black and White project. I am making photographs in my Fuji X-T2 but earlier this week, I shot half a roll of Rollei RPX 25 on my Minolta X-700. When I am done with that roll I hope to shoot a roll of Rollei RPX 100, Agfa Scala 160 and Tri-X 400.

Submitted for the 100DaysToOffload project.

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