Black and White

Tomasz Gudzowaty: The Monks of Shaolin

Polish photo-essayist Tomasz Gudzowaty has a deep commitment to documenting the often neglected area of non-commercial, non-mainstream sports and sporting activities. A law graduate from the University of Warsaw, he initiated himself into photography through work on nature, and then onto the social documentary, before arriving at his passion for non-commercial sports photography. Not unlike accomplished and critically acclaimed socially committed photo-essayists like W.Eugene Smith and Sebastiao Salgado, Gudzowaty chooses to express himself solely in the absence of colour, through remarkable black and white. The classic photo essay is often often identified as the one that is black and white – pitching itself into representing ‘stark reality’ as opposed to the distractions that colour might impose on the image, preventing the viewer from appreciating ‘the whole’. Non commercial sports also present unique moments, moments that Gudzowaty captures with mastery in his photo essay on the monks of the ancient fifth century Shaolin monastery in the Henan provice of China, a monastery well known for its martial arts practice of Shaolin Kung Fu. Take a look.

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Justin James Muir: Portrait photographer and ‘A Book Of Beards’

Portrait photographer Justin James Muir conceived the ‘Book of Beards’ after he moved to West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA, where he perceived what he called a ‘bold beard culture’. His friend Mike, who is featured on the cover suffers from cancer, and all the proceeds from the ‘Book of Beards’ go to cancer aid along with covering Mike’s medical bills. Take a hairy look.

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Mitch Dobrowner – Fine Art Photography

Inspired by Ansel Adams in his early years, American fine art photographer Dobrowner produces imagery which is ‘painterly’ more than anything else. I am not sure whether that is good or bad, but the end results are grand indeed. The decision to not engage with colour comes from the lineage of Adamsian photographic practice, and also the broad sweep of Dobrowner’s vistas puts the viewer in a unique privileged position. Take a look.

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