It’s amazing how mood can be conveyed in a photograph – even a mood that wasn’t there when the shutter clicked.
Black and white film is fantastic for conveying mood – even the most innocuous street scene can be given extra atmosphere by stripping away the colour. Street photographers, for instance, are often encouraged to shoot film to help add an extra dimension; and black and white can often add extra drama and depth.
The biggest difference between black and white film and mono digital shots is grain. And grain, as many better photographers than I have found, that’s brilliant for creating mood.
I got given a Lomo LC-Wide, the latest version of the Soviet-era Lomo compact made by Lomography to test last year. Having shot a few rolls of colour print and slide, I decided to shoot a roll of Kodak Tri-X with the square format mask that comes with the LC-Wide.
At the time, I was living with a friend in north west London – and his cat. Playing around with the Lomo, I managed to get the above shot, a silhouetted apparition like something from a Gothic fairy tale. Never mind that he was making a beeline to rub his face on my feet – as far as the camera is concerned, this was like wandering into the witch’s lair, a black cat familiar bristling at the sight of you.
One of the reasons I love shooting with the Lomo LC-Wide is that heavy vignetting – it really adds to that slightly unreal feel. Check out some more pics from the camera, and a previous post reviewing the camera.