- CRAIG BARKER
Back To Black.
Updated: Oct 17, 2022
For years I worked in the photo industry, working for Ilford Imaging, who manufactured black and white film and paper. During this time I worked solely with black and white film, as that's what my job required. This encouraged a certain discipline in my work .
Colour can be a powerful aspect of any image, but it can dominate. Shooting black and white forces you to concentrate on the key elements of composition, texture, shape, form, and tonality.
I left black and white photography behind for many years, but after years of shooting colour I have now fallen in love with it once more and enjoying working in this way. I find myself now drawn into the tonality of it. So where I once worked in the dark room dodging and burning areas, I now do the same digitally, working on areas until I get to the point where the image has a resonance for me. This can take days, as its important to leave an image and keep going back to it, with a fresh eye and brain.
A few other things that I look for and work on are;
Texture, which can add drama and impact.
Tonality which is the differences between the darkest tones of an image and the lightest. With this I look for a higher contrast to create more impactful imagery.
The beauty of black and white photography is that it gets straight to the point and avoids any distractions caused by colours. This lack of colour captures more of the viewer’s attention, as they focus on the context of the photo to figure out what’s going on.
In this way composition is very important and is the starting point of any image.