Julien Legrand – Black & White
As my pictures will be developed in black and white. I think it’s appropriate to look up an artist who uses this effect, what what techniques that have used. I came across Julien Legrand. Legrand’s photography is very effective because they are not in focus. I think this is an advantage to the photographs as it brings mystery to the subject.
These series of images are called ‘Blurred Souls’. I find this technique of burring the images effective as the observer can’t see the subject in full detail. This makes the viewer pay more attention to the series of pictures. This is what I want my viewers to do, to make bring more interest to my photographs.
Julien Legrand is a street photographer, this is type of photography I want to bring to this project. During an interview Legrand answers,
‘Who are some photographers that have guided tour creative vision?’
‘I didn’t have a good knowledge about street photography at the beginning. Perhaps my first inspiration came from skateboarding photographers like Mike O’Meally. Then I discovered Henri Cartier Bresson and all the pioneers.’
Mike O’Meally is a photographer that mainly deals with skateboarding. The majority of his photographs are black and white, which give a cool atmosphere. There isn’t any sharp colours that distract the observer from the main focus.
‘You worked in both black and white and colour, and now you seem to lean more towards colour. Can you share your philosophies in working in both medium, and explain the challenges (and rewards) working in both?
‘I think that black and white and color reveals some aspects of my personality, as if I was bipolar. For example, color photos are my bright side while my black and white ones (often blurry) are my dark side, a bit like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Fortunately, now, I shoot more in color 😉 Technically speaking, shooting in color seems to be more difficult to me. This is because when you are shooting in color, the light has to be good (and I can’t cheat in post-processing). In black and white, I’m more free, my shots can be blurry, I can add strong contrast and darken some areas in the post processing. These are just my own rules.’
He explains that the difference between black and white and colour shows different form of his personality. He describes his black and white images to be blurry. This was the aspect of his photography that I enjoy the most. Julien reveals that black and white photography can be easier to shoot than in colour. In this case, with black and white, the photographer can make the image blurry and get away with it. Black and White is simply a picture in one colour but in different shades. Therefore, I can alter my images and change different tones in different areas.
Who are some contemporary street photographers whose work you admire, and why?
The first ones that come in my mind are Harry Gruyaert, Michael Ackerman and Gueorgui Pinkhassov. I like the mystery in their shots. For me, a good shot is a shot that ask questions. I also like more obvious ones like Alex Webb, Martin Parr and Garry Winogrand for what they bring new to photography.
From this statement I first looked at the photographers given, Harry Gruyaert, Michael Ackerman and Gueorgui Pinkhassov. The photographer that brought the most interest to me was Michael Ackerman. His photographs are very similar to the outcome I want my photographs to become.
The American photographer Michael Ackerman works and lives in Berlin. Recently his third book ‘Half Life’ came out. His book ‘Half Life’ contains images that he took from Poland and Berlin. ‘His photography is easily recognized due to his very dark and gritty images. His photography is a reflection of his personal malaise, his doubts and anguish. The following images come from the story Half Life, his Portrait portfolio and the story Smoke.’
Overall from Julien Legrand, I got that black and white can be effective when blurred. I want to use this technique with my work as it will show a dull mood within the photographs.