Photography 101: Pursue Your Inner Dinosaur

Expat Journal: Postcards from the Edge

Stephen F. Dennstedt

The world we live in is not black and white. It can be—but not really. We can make monochromatic images but they’re actually tonal gradations of gray which cover a wide spectrum—from true black to true white and the tones in-between.

I call that pursuing your inner dinosaur because old-timers like me started with black and white film back in the day. There are still good reasons to shoot black and white but many photographers find it hard to break the heroin-like rush of color.

In 1954 when I was seven years old I picked up my first vintage Kodak box camera. It used 120 black and white film and its photos were often blurry and grainy but it hooked me. I continued to shoot black and white film throughout high school and won my first photo prize in Kodak’s prestigious National High School Photography Contest in 1962 at…

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