Tbilisi in Black-and-White
Sometimes, shooting black-and-white is a necessity.
When I arrived in Tbilisi and couldn’t quite get a handle on the city, that struggle permeated my pictures. I wasn’t seeing color pictures I wanted to take. So to combat my frustration, I decided to simplify—I switched to monochrome.
Black-and-white film emphasizes different elements than color, as I’ve mentioned before. Monochromatic images highlight the contrast, shape, line, and form. I find that cities especially lend themselves to black-and-white; with so much going on, it’s inevitable that removing color from the equation will reveal an alternate side of the city. Plus, monochromatic urban images seem classic, harkening back to Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gary Winogrand, and Robert Frank. Cities display their mysteries in monochromatic whispers.
The Tbilisi I discovered through my monochromatic film is dramatic, ornate, filled with secret pockets of light and strange geometry. The city is like that in color, too—it just took shooting in black-and-white to find it.
(Expect to see more cities in black-and-white, and soon! I shot mostly monochrome in both Yerevan and Belgrade, so perhaps this will become a series.)