A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed, and is, thereby, a true manifestation of what one feels about life in it's entirety. . . I believe in photography as one means of achieving an ultimate happiness and faith! - Ansel Adams

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Shades of melancholy in black & white...

In my "humble" opinion Black & White (B&W) photography is perhaps one of the purest forms of photography. B&W stands on its own feet - on the strength of composition and mood, without the glamour (so to speak) of colour. I have also generally found that street photography is more appealing when seen in B&W - maybe it's because B&W brings out the starkness and hence help convey the mood better. To paraphrase it in a literary fashion - street-photography has the onerous task of capturing the shades of grey in our society and what better than using the shades of grey to portray them! It could also be because the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson (which were in B&W), the legendary photographer and father of street photography, continue to inspire photographers to this day, resulting in an immense amount of B&W work being done despite the colour capabilities of today's cameras.

Initially I had planned to share these pictures as part of another larger theme-based post, but then I had a feeling that they would get lost somewhere in the array of pictures (like so many of my other portraitures). Hence, this small post depicting some of the shades of melancholy which I observed recently.

A trumpet player in a Western-styled band

Wonder why the faces of most trumpet players appear melancholic and hardened to me? This man was otherwise quite jolly and would wink at me after finishing his bit!

A charioteer appears lost in thought

A relic of the past, horse carriages that were once common-place in Mumbai (they went by the moniker 'Victoria') are today few and far between. The struggle of having to run a carriage in the face of mounting costs, decreasing number of customers, traffic woes and animal rights groups breathing down their neck sure takes a toll on these guys.

Hardened by age, toughened by life!

A worker takes a breather during a dull moment in a festive procession. What intrigues me always is the impact the people, who come dressed in finery and gold ornaments for the festive / wedding processions, may be having on the minds of poor onlookers and members of a troop (such as this person)!

Another charioteer lost in thought

Perhaps the same goes for this charioteer as well.

Some great B&W pictures -
To see Henri Cartier-Bresson's work, click here.
Also have a look at the 10 photographs that changed the world.

P.S. - this time I have linked the pictures to the Flickr lightbox. In case you have encountered problems with it or find it troublesome to navigate then do let me know.


Rajesh said...

Beautiful black and white shots. Yes, the features and mood are very clear in B&W.

The Legend Returns said...

Thank you so much Rajesh :)

joshi daniel said...

nice with good contrast!

The Legend Returns said...

Thanks so much Daniel :)

Gautam S Brahma said...

Very nicely presented, love all the pictures,

The Legend Returns said...

Thanks so much Gautam :)

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This work by Maneesh Goal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.