It is never black or white

I don’t know why I like B&W as much as I do. Perhaps it is because I grew up watching TV in black and white. And the minstrels were always black and white. John Boulter would be in jail today I imagine. My father liked the medium and had his own darkroom. When he died, 25 years ago, his enlarger, developing tanks etc were all still in the attic. I assume they went out with everything else my mother didn’t have a need for. Nowadays I dabble with film, Tri X or FP4 usually and have the negs scanned. I also use Silver Efex Pro v2 from NIK for conversions.  Whether this is any better than using PS/CS4 I have no idea but I enjoy the shortcut to creative image making. I have never believed in making life more difficult than necessary.

This shot below was taken with a small Panasonic LX-5 camera. I like the grain and made a virtue of the ‘noise’ that comes in at ISO 400 equivalent from a small sensor. It was quite a challenge persuading the security guys to let me out to take photographs in Karachi. I am, strangely, regarded as “at risk”. The problem is I could be American. I am not. I am Welsh. But I could be American. And thereby hangs the problem. I need Cymraeg tattooed across my forehead. Eventually however the Brigadier gave me a couple of minders and 3 hours loose in Karachi. I suspect that would not happen today. Pakistan is a wonderful place. Visit Lahore. No, seriously, visit Lahore and see the history. A renaissance of tourism would generate revenue to  allow much need restoration of many sites. The curatorial challenge of maintenance on a shoestring is immense. I enjoy travelling with a camera and if I come away with a pleasing image or two, so much the better.

But the real kick is seeing images made with my M9.

After hours in Lan Kwai Fong

This was taken one night in the heavy drinking district of Central, Hong Kong. As a “red-carded” ex-drinker I visit rarely but it is a treasure trove of photographic opportunities. I shot this without flash using my Noctilux 0.95. With a small rangefinder and no flash I stay unobtrusive. Everyone is bowling along to or from their watering hole. Except the folks who keep Lan Kwai Fong ticking. This man is clearly working up a sweat. Someone more observant than I noticed that he has one hand prone and the other supine. I wonder if that helps. To most people he is invisible.

For those interested in EXIF, this was taken wide open at 1/250, ISO 800.