What do you do with the 38th frame on a roll of Tri X ?
What do you do with the 38th frame on a roll of Tri X ?

“Il mondo in bianco e nero” ( The world in black and white), is a personal space dedicated to my passion for photography. I believe, that photography existed in my life as far as I can go back in memory.

My father was a photographer. When I was a kid I held him the secondary flash sometimes when he shot portraits of celebrities in our small rooftop apartment in Warsaw. This is probably why I like sharp photos and good equipment. I was 14 when he divorced my mother and moved out. At that point I felt free to begin taking photos on my own.

That lasted just for a few years, till I had to flee my country.

Without an access to a darkroom, I quickly lost the interest to do anything but the usual holiday snaps.

After some 30 years, I realized that photographers were moving their darkrooms into  computers and printers , so I started again. It is like learning to walk the second time – lots of fun – as one of my favourite songs says: “Love is lovelier the second time around”.

I grew up looking at  black and white images, while watching my father expose prints under the enlarger and develop them in big tanks under green or orange lights. The typical look of these prints, was one produced by medium format negatives, shot with professional cameras on traditional silver halide film, and developed in D-76. That rich tonality and non intrusive grain, has formed my subconscious  inner image of how a photograph should look like. Even if I’ve dabbed  with colour in my youth, it was never anything “serious”.

Coming back to photography in the computer age, I tried digital, but whenever I strived to produce black and white work, it simply did not look good enough to me. I have decided to stick to B&W film.

Now, that film has become something of an alternative process, I like the idea of staying with something well defined, and concentrate on making it work at best, without the need to pay attention to the latest technological developments and “upgrades”, which is a permanent fixture of the digital photography realm today.

Using film, old cameras, taking the time to develop, makes for a slower paced and very enjoyable process.

I develop my films, scan them, and then edit the selected photographs in Photoshop, exactly the way I have learned doing it once in the darkroom. The better images get printed on 5×7 paper, and “age” a bit in small boxes, before I decide which ones merit to be displayed.

I don’t know yet, how broad all the themes that I will touch, are going to be. I have my favourites: form, light, diversity and complexity of life, the unexpected and the surreal. Sometimes I get moved by how people interact between each other or with their dogs. I search beauty more than documentary truth, but I dislike manipulation and staging.


A rare portrait session in my office
A rare portrait session in my office

Photography is my extra lung, it allows me to breathe more freely. It is a mental tonic, which gives me a lot of energy and satisfaction.

As Henri Matisse once said: “Work cures everything”.

Marek Fogiel