Photowalk: Monochromatic Visions

I find myself these past few weeks being increasingly drawn back to monochrome. If film and processing were free, I guess I’d be back on the gelatin. I’d need a bigger place to live, too, as shooting film for me was as much about getting in the lab to process them. I just don’t have the convenience of digital in film anymore. Sure, it has its lure but digital has got is claws in me and by being able to program my camera with custom settings that give me the contrasty monochrome I used to like back in the day.. well, I find it hard to give up the DSLR. Photography for me right now is about making images and sharing them as rapidly as possible. I’m keeping film for my retirement….

With the monochrome bug on board, I arranged a walk recently to get a few people to concentrate on it too. We walked a lovely route through some quite characterful streets of Tokyo’s Tabata, Sendagi, Neze and Yanaka districts before ending up in the bustling Ameyoko. It was all about composition, seeing the potential in subjects to be rendered in simple black and white tones and to concentrate on lighting.

Everyone had a way of shooting in black and white on their DSLRs. I chose to use the High Contrast Mono 01 setting I have made for the Nikon [which you can find in my picture controls here]. My son Joe also came along for the day, shooting my old D300 in monochrome.

Some people have organised their pics already…

See Hugh Ashtons’s shots at his SmugMug site here.

Dennis Ong’s Flickr slideshow is below.

Here is a gallery of Rishi’s shots from the walk:

You can see some of my son Joe’s best shots below… not bad for a nine year-old. He attracted quite a bit of attention in Yanaka, from a bunch of older Japanese photowalkers we bumped into. I think they were somewhat taken aback to see a little chap carrying a D300. Then he showed them a few shots, which totally blew them away. Nice one, son.

Here’s a gallery of my shots from the day, shot with the Nikon D700 set to High Contrast Monochrome 01, and with the following lenses: 50mm f/1.2 Ai, 85mm f/2 AiS, 300mm f/4 ED, 20mm f/3.5 AiS:

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