Black and White Street Photography in Swansea

This week I took my (new) Fuji X-T1 and the X100S out for a spin to try some black and white street photography around Swansea city centre. I tried experimenting with different techniques, shooting from the hip, slow shutter speeds while on the move to create a distortion type effect, and looking for shadows, silhouettes and interesting moments.

One of the things I love about the Fuji X cameras is that you can set them into B&W film simulation mode so when you look into the viewfinder everything is black and white. It opens up a whole new world. The following shots weren't taken in colour and converted into black and white later, they are B&W straight out of the camera (with minor tweaking in post production).

My current B&W setup is:

- Film simulation: B-R (B&W Red Filter)
- Sharpness: +2
- Highlight Tone: -1
- Shadow Tone: +2
- Noise Reduction: -2

My love of black and white documentary photography comes from being a fan of film photography and the timeless photographs by Henri Cartier Bresson and Ansel Adams. Whenever I find myself in need of some inspiration I ALWAYS go back to study the work of Bresson, who is considered by many as the Master of candid photography and the pioneer of 'The Decisive Moment'.

I absolutely love shooting in black and white. You see light and shadows differently. Colour no longer distracts from the scene and you can play around with light plus you get this timeless quality from it. It can add more emotion to even the most mundane shot. There's something about an out-of-focus black and white shot that just resonates with me.

I have a long way to go in my street photography but just getting out there and practicing is the best way to get better... even if that means crouching (like a loon) in the middle of a massive hailstorm in Wine Street on Beaujolais Day!

So I hope you enjoy this small selection of photos! And if you like this post I am always happy if you spread the word and Like it on Facebook or retweet it. :)