black and white

Travel in Black and White (Photo Essay for the Fourth Issue of Dezine Magazine)

I believe that by converting an image to black and white one adds an extra element that is often lost with colour photography.  With landscape photography, converting to black and white can add to the sense of scale and vastness of a scene.  With documentary photography, converting to black and white can make the scene more powerful and alive.  And with people photography, converting to black and white can add to and increase the captured emotion, whether that be happy or sad, lost or lonely.  Photographer, Ted Grant's quote on black and white photography sums this up beautifully:

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!”

Black and White Photography by Geraint Rowland.

Black and White Photography by Geraint Rowland.

I rarely take a photograph thinking I will convert it into black and white, instead it happens later in the editing stage.  The reason for converting to black and white normally depends on the light in which the photo was taken, but it can also be due to the atmosphere or mood of the image.  Click through the slideshow below, descriptions of each shot can be found beneath:

1.  For a brief moment the light under the pier in Santa Monica was amazing yet it didn't quite work in colour.  Converting to black and white exaggerated the amazing light show and the addition of a photographer in the frame added to the image.

2.  Taken through the window on a road trip through West Africa I captured this boy as we passed through the border between Mauritania and Mali.  His eyes show a lot of emotion which the black and white conversion helps bring out.

3.  Taken during the Day of the Dead Carnival in Mexico City.   Here the black and white conversion adds to the atmosphere and spirit of the carnival.

4.  This confrontation between a shop owner and the Police in Downtown Mexico City is brought to life by the black and whiteconversion.  One can almost feel the tension.

5.  I love how the black and white conversion to this rural scene captured in Cusco, Peru, gives the image a dated and atmospheric feel.

6.  The genuine happiness and innocence of these children in Belen Market, Iquitos, Peru is magnified by the conversion into black and white.  The beauty of the light on the water is also accentuated by this process.

More of my black and white photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, my Twitter, and my Flickr account. If you are interested in purchasing any prints, using an image online or would like further information please send me an email at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.

Geraint Rowland Photography by PhotoVoice

The March Photography Competition Winner is…

The third PhotoVoice photography competition, in partnership with Professional Photography magazine was inspired by an image from PhotoVoice project ‘MAMPU. Photographers were asked to submit up to six images inspired by the theme ‘Discovery’. Photographer and Photo-facilitator, Meredith Hutchison selected Geraint Rowland as the winner. 

How did you get started in Photography?

I bought a digital SLR camera around 8 years ago and decided to enroll on a photography course instead of tackling the user guide.  I completed two courses, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Advanced’ at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff.  Since then, I have been doing a lot of travelling and documenting my travels through photography.

How would you describe your work and your practice?

I consider myself a travel and street photographer.  I like catching candid moments in everyday life around the world.  I am also a lover of nature and enjoy taking photos of landscapes and the ocean.  I like to show the beauty that exists throughout the world.

Tell us a bit more about your winning image and the series that it is from

I took this image during the yearly pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady Guadalupe in Mexico City.  Millions of Mexicans make the pilgrimage each year on or before the 12th of December.

The pilgrimage is very much a family affair, the Mexicans often referring to the Lady of Guadalupe as Mamá or Mother.  

I took this photo around a week before the 12th when there was already a lot of activity at the holy site.  I was lucky to capture this candid and touching moment between mother and child during the celebrations.  The photo was captured on a Canon 5D2 with a 85mm lens, I converted it to black and white, which gave the image more emotion.

© Geraint Rowland, Familia

What do you think the future for your photography will be?

I think both social media and advances in technology mean that photography is increasing in popularity all the time.  The vast amount of information online means that the still image continues to play a vital role in catching peoples attention and telling a story.  Hopefully this will mean an increasing need for photos and photographers in general.  In the future I would love to work with some international charities, where my photography will have a direct impact on the world for the better.  I also want to continue travelling the world and documenting it’s beauty along the way, and if I can find some work which allows me to do this all the better.

Are there any other up and coming photographers that you think people should know about?

Yes, Linda Wisdom is a street photographer based in London.  Her black and white imagery is beautiful and she always seems to be in the right place and at the right time to capture the perfect moment.  She runs Street Photography Tours in London. Another is Aliette Bretel, a Peruvian photographer who now lives in Cambridge, she has a very unique and timeless selection of images.

How did you hear about PhotoVoice and how do you think your work relates our vision and mission?

I found out about PhotoVoice on Facebook, I was very interested in their commitment to supporting underrepresented communities through participatory photography.  I believe that my photography contributes to positive social change by inspiring and informing others about people and places they may not know about.

The photo and interview were published in the August/September edition of the Professional Photography Magazine.

Find out more about Geraint Rowland’s work here or visit his Facebook page here

 

Belen Market, Iquitos Peru (Photo Essay for the First Issue of Dezine Magazine)

These photos were taken earlier this year in the village of Belen in Iquitos, Peru.  The entire village is flooded for several months each year by the nearby Amazon river.  The only way to get around is by boat so even the children learn to navigate and paddle in small canoes from an early age.  

Two young girls paddle a canoe in the flooded village of Belen in Iquitos, Peru.   

Two young girls paddle a canoe in the flooded village of Belen in Iquitos, Peru.

 

Our local guide manoeuvred us around in a motorboat for a couple of hours exploring the streets which at that time of the year become waterways.  The area is fascinating, and our journey through it gave us a brief insight into life there.

Around every corner were amazing photo opportunities, with the local people using the river to work, travel and play.  Children would sit selling food and produce to passing boats, Men would offer taxi boat services or fish, and the Women would wash the family clothes in the river.  Some 65,000 people live in the Village of Belen on either moored floating houses or houses on stilts.  It is a very poor neighbourhood with many of the people living in impoverished conditions. Yet those we encountered seemed genuinely happy: laughing, smiling, and greeting us as we passed by.  (Click through the images below)

I took all the photos candidly and found that converting them to black and white gave them more emotion.  For more information on Dezine go to: https://issuu.com/dezinemagazine. 

More of my travel photography from Peru can be found on my website, my Facebook, my Twitter and my Flickr account.  If you are interested in purchasing any prints, using an image online or would like further information please send me an email at: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.