SHADES OF GREY

All the pic­tures in Chris Smith’s Gods of Sport ex­hi­bi­tion are black and white. A cou­ple shot in colour were con­verted to mono be­cause, as he says, ‘it would have looked odd if there were two or three pic­tures in colour...’

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“The thing about black and white is you had to look at things dif­fer­ently be­cause, ob­vi­ously, ev­ery­thing is in colour, but black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy still holds up. You’re look­ing at it dif­fer­ently be­cause, in black and white, you had to iso­late the sub­ject from a back­ground. Crudely speak­ing, in colour if you’ve got a red sub­ject and a green back­ground, the two colours sep­a­rate be­cause they are so dif­fer­ent. In black and white, they’re just shades of grey, both of them, so you had to find a way to blow the back­ground out to­tally to make the sub­ject stand out, or iso­late the fig­ure you were con­cen­trat­ing on in a dif­fer­ent way. You had to think quite a lot about what your back­ground was and where you wanted to take the picture, and when.”

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