365 Photo Project: Month 1 of L.A. in Black and White

Before I started my 365-day photo project of documenting Los Angeles in black and white, I believe I had taken and processed about five black and white photos...ever. As one friend recently shared with me, "Your photos are so saturated." What I later discovered that she meant was the vibrance and color that are often in my photos. In other words, I like photos in color! And so if you look at enough of my photos, you'll likely start picking up on similarities in style and composition.

But I think that's perhaps the challenge for the modern-day photographer, or for that matter, the challenge for the modern-day content creator, storyteller, and artist. How do we challenge ourselves to view and share the world through a different means, lens, and style? This question is exactly what I've set out to answer in my 365 photo project. I've been reluctant to do 365-day photo challenges in the past, largely in part because I wanted it to actually be a challenge (and because I probably take at least one photograph per day). And this project of photographing Los Angeles in black and white has certainly been a challenge.

While I've now been a resident of Los Angeles for a few years, this 365-day photo challenge has helped me see L.A. in a completely new and different light. And I think that has been the biggest takeaway. Moments walking around Los Angeles (yes, walking) and riding public transit have felt so intentional, my senses on high alert, as I've tried to pay closer attention to the details of the city. As a result, I find myself taken with Los Angeles in new ways.

Day 18 Santa Monica Pier.JPG

Now one month in and this project has taken different forms. For one, all of the photos from the first month came by way of walking or public transit, as I was without a car the first few weeks of the year. Secondly, I've decided to make this a year-long project that I do for every day that I'm in Los Angeles. Since I travel, of course there won't be 365 photos at the end of the year. Nonetheless, my goal is 300 photos for the year, which I'm on course for.

Meanwhile, see a few of my favorite photos from the first month below.

365 Photo Project: L.A. in Black and White