From the series Future Memories
Tsegaye, an Ethopian photographer, is a former painter who usually works in color. He took this series of pictures — showing Addis Abeba from different vista points, giving the city a gauzy, dreamlike feel — in black and white. This is what he said about it:
“There is a way in which I generally think about black and white that probably, subconsciously informed my decision….With color photographs, it’s very easy to miss the point, since there is often so much information and color can dress up the image to the point of distraction. But with black and white, since the information in the image is limited, the photograph is somehow stripped down to relay on its essential point, which of course, has to be there and be clearly expressed.”
I’m not sure if I agree — too often black and white is used to class up things that don’t need or shouldn’t get that treatment; it can also be used to obscure time or history, which is another danger of the medium. But I like the idea of it being used to force economy on photographers. Goes back to my belief about how the greatest difficulty, in life and in art, is to make things simple.
Copyright Michael Tsegaye