My good friend Brian (check out his excellent work here and his instagram account here) and I were talking about black and white photography yesterday. It lets you strip away those distracting colors and focus on the subject of the photograph. In some ways it’s harder because you need to have a great subject and interesting lighting. In some ways it’s easier because you don’t need to deal with those pesky colors.
While I was in San Francisco this summer I visited Fort Point. The fort is located directly underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. As it turns out not many people know it’s even there. This is a civil war era fort that never actually saw any battles and today it’s a monument and tourist attraction. It’s fascinating to see all of the old architecture still in place and while you’re there you can even look up into the structure of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Inside the fort the (rather frightening) stairwells form tight spirals that that are visually amazing. What attracts me to this look is the spiral of the stairs are mostly implied by straight lines. Converting the image to black and white highlights the structure of the granite stairs with a touch of contrast to really bring out the details. The sunbeam leads down, but where? It’s creepy yet attractive. What’s at the bottom?