Nathan Blaney (NSFW)

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What makes black and white photography so important to you?

My brain just simply works in black and white. I can see an image waiting to happen and its always stronger in black and white. Color is rarely important to what’s happening in my personal work. For commercial clients, yes, I can work with color but it never feels as satisfying or rich. I’ve got some regular clients now who have come around to allowing me to shoot an assignment in black and white if I feel it produces stronger images… and they’re always happy. …

What inspires you to create photographs?

I have always been a visual artist, but not always a photographer. It took me quite some time to realize that one of the things I enjoyed about making art was the immediacy of certain mediums. Watercolor, acrylic, ink, etc dried rapidly and I could work in on top of what I already laid down. Photography was even more immediate – print your image and you see the results in seconds. Digital photography has made things even more instant. It all allows a quick creative response to the subject. I’ve found that my drive to create photos comes from an interest in capturing moments or ideas, some fleeting and some carefully crafted – but there’s an artistic challenge  in both that I really enjoy.…

Why is black and white photography so important to our future in the art world?

While black and white is the historical basis of all photography and is important to explore for that reason alone, it is also a way of seeing and thinking.  Its easy to fall back on color in an image – it can be an easy crutch. Black and white images force an attention to technical elements that color sometimes lets slide. I see it as roughly equivalent to why we spend so much time drawing with charcoal in art school – yes its an easy to manipulate medium, but more importantly it demands your attention depicting an image in monochrome. Not an easy feat in many cases.

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