Hello fellow shutter-bugs! 

As you can tell from the title, the aim of this blog is to act as an introductory guide to black-and-white photography. Mainly, I will use it to collect my thoughts on the subject, hopefully to present them later in a cohesive and comprehensible manner, and elicit tips & critiques from readers. Eventually, I hope to put all this info on photography together a “final form” as a guide for the perplexed. Therefore, nothing on this blog should be considered to be accurate (or even safe) – this is merely a work in progress. 

 About me: I am NOT a professional photographer. I guess I can be described as merely a “serious amateur”. I’ve owned cameras since childhood, and have always enjoyed taking photographs. I was fascinated by my grandfather’s Zeiss Ikon rangefinder in its leather case — a thing which was not to be touched by my grimy little hands, but I used to sneak it out of its hiding place and play with it anyway!

Why do I like photography? Well, there are two related reasons. First, I enjoy beauty. I would have studied art criticism and history in college (if I didn’t have to worry about actually making a living!)  Photographers have a way of “seeing” which is actually more like a way of thinking: Photography makes me appreciate and experience my surroundings, and makes me see all the beauty of everday things around me, and it also makes me appreciate how evanescent it all really is — and so I appreciate it all even more. Does that make sense? This is true whether my photographic subject is a flower, a beautiful woman, or a landscape. Perhaps, by capturing it on film, I can save a piece of it while time marches on?

Secondly, I guess I have a certain personality type that allows me to enjoy subjects that others may consider to be obsolete, obscure, even pedantic. That’s why I prefer film photography to digital. I get a kick out of buying a photography manual from 1920s, to use along with my cameras from the 1940’s.  That’s the interesting thing about film photography: while digital cameras become obsolete in an wink, the basic technology of film photography has not changed in generations, and in fact some of the older cameras are much better than anything built today.

Anyway, enough with the heavy philosophical nonsense. Please, read my blog, forgive the errors, and if you have a comment or contribution, please feel free to add it to my blog or contact me directly by email.  

 Happy shooting!

Aslan Ivo – New York.

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