"The mystery isn't in the technique, it's in each of
How much does color add to--or take away from--a photograph? Rarely
do you get a chance to see a body of work that's identical in color and
monochrome but Jorge Tutor (www.jorgetutor.com)
presents an opportunity to make such a comparison. His other website (www.kirikou.com)
contains many of the same images, except in color. With a few exceptions all
the photographs on his monochrome site were captured in color but "the
colors were removed with Photoshop." I like the drama, mystery, and simplicity
of his monochrome musings and you can make your own decisions about which version
2005, Jorge Tutor, All Rights Reserved
Rob Gardiner is an immensely talented Australian photographer who has two websites.
His main site (www.nyclondon.com)
contains powerful monochrome images as well as manipulated SX70 color, but his
contains an interesting self-assignment. He's walking from St James's
Park to High Street Kensington in London searching for "a mix of psychogeography,
photography, history, and self-education." Traveling above London Underground's
Circle Line, Gardiner is staying within a couple of hundred yards from the line.
His tools for this assignment match the Victorian engineering of the Underground
The walk is being captured with a pinhole camera with no lens, viewfinder, light
meter, shutter, or electronics of any kind. The blog features a map of the subway
route along with a surface map showing where each of the photographs was made.
Unlike the directness of the photographs found on his main site, his blog photographs
reflect peace, tranquility, and elegance, revealing the power of monochrome
to tell a story without the unnecessary distractions of color.
2005, Rob Gardiner, All Rights Reserved
Mark Surloff is another photographer with two websites. His black and white
contains personal work, while his commercial site (www.surloff.com)
is full of dazzling color architectural images. Not surprisingly, his monochrome
images feature images of buildings, but they couldn't be more different
from his day job and it's not just their lack of color. Images such as
"Beach Wedding Scene 2" have an insouciant symmetry, not to mention
style and grace, while "Boys and Church" have a delightfully haphazard
quality. Similarly, his formal "Woman and Fence" is counterbalanced
by the humorously Erwittesque "Mona." All of Surloff's photographs
are infused with the kind of dynamics that monochrome image making permits by
placing the focus on the subject matter, simplifying and making you stop, look,
and think. It's not just another "pretty picture" without
color. Surloff's world is both realistic and surreal at the same time
and that, my friend, is the real power of black and white.
2005, Mark Surloff, All Rights Reserved