Two years ago, at the same fateful BBQ where I won a gift certificate for a month of free jiu-jitsu lessons, my friend Juan gave me a roll of Tri-X 400. I was so excited to use it, I rewound my Nikon F100 midway through a roll of Portra so I could give the Tri-X a whirl. It goes without saying, but all the photographers I looked up to most when I was getting into photography shot black-and-white. I couldn’t contain my excitement; now was my opportunity to try to capture decisive moments and try to see the world with a renewed sense of wonder! No more post-processing color photos as black-and-white in Lightroom 3, I was about to keep it real on the highest level!
And then when I was done shooting that roll I left it on my bookcase for like a year collecting dust. Aww.
But then a surge of inspiration came over with me! I practically sprinted to the photography lab over at Mt. Whitney High School for the first time in over a decade to develop my film! Juan walked me through all the steps… The smell of darkroom chemicals, the feeling of a cold stainless steel developing tank in my hands, the excitement of watching a second hand spin around a darkroom timer between agitations! I was in heaven. In that moment I knew I was going to be shooting and developing a lot of black-and-white from then on!
But I never went to Mt. Whitney to get my film back from Juan. Awwwww.
Flash forward two years and I finally got together with Juan to take that roll of film off his hands. He was actually cool enough to print a contact sheet for me, so I didn’t even have to wait to scan the film before I was able to see how some of the shots came out. Maybe it’s some kind of photography mid-life crisis, or maybe I’m just inspired by some local savages, but I have a sudden inexplicable urge to shoot black-and-white again. Now that I have more experience and way more cameras than I know what to do with, getting used to black-and-white seems like the next logical challenge for myself. Be ready, homies! Because once I get those black-and-white chemicals mixed it’s going to be on like Donkey Kong!
So in other words, I should be posting my next batch of black-and-white photos around the time the next President is elected. Awwwwwwwww.
P.S. Sorry for the stupid title, it was either that or “Black and White (Like the Michael Jackson song!)” but then I remembered the song is actually called “Black OR White” so… that would have been extra stupid. I mean, there’s no law that says I have to have pun blog titles in the first place, but whatever. I’m a Virgo, I could have obsessed over it way longer than I did.
On an unrelated note, I’d like to get something that’s been bothering me for about 24 years off my chest. In the famous part of that “Black or White” video where all the people from different races morph into each other, each person is on screen for four or five seconds. But the Mexican dude only gets two seconds! COUNT IT! How am I the only person who’s ever noticed that!!!
Let’s all talk about that in the comments section! I do have a comments section, you know.