What is it about black and white and sepia photography that’s so appealing? Is it that the lack of color compels us to consider the subject matter more closely? I definitely think so. Color can sometimes “give it all away”, whereas black and white or sepia imagery draws us more deeply into the picture, forcing us to make closer examination. We appreciate the textures and compositions of the artist with more thoughtfulness, more intimacy.
This was my experience when I saw English garden designer Jinny Blom’s new limited edition book, “A Domestic Landscape: Outdoor/Indoor”. In her collaboration with photographer Charlie Hopkinson, Jinny’s book contains some 83 black and white images of a decrepit Victorian cottage in the Sussex woodland. The photographs, printed in A3 landscape format, are moody and romantic but in no way morose. They are, however, most decidedly rustic chic.
For more information on this book visit www.jinnyblom.com. Be prepared for a hefty price tag, but rustic chic has its price.
Closer to home, art photographer Peter Margonelli (www.petermargonelli.com) made a series of birch tree photographs that are very beautiful and very RC. Peter shoots a lot in rural Connecticut and some of his images are intentionally blurred, which imparts a very strong and dynamic mood to his subjects. Peter also captures a lot of often-derelict architectural images full of texture and complexity. Here’s an example from his Birch Tree series.
And closer still to home, here’s a shot I took in black and white of the tree line in the back field. I hesitate to post this on the same page as Peter and Charlie. I am hopeful they won’t be too critical.