We’re catching up with Chris Gampat, who runs the popular blog “The Phoblographer.” The website explores the psychology of photographers and the reasons why they create. Last year, Chris started a new website called La Noir Image, dedicated to inspiring people through black and white photography. This project recently began to evolve, read on to find out how!
I’ve heard you’re working on a new project, can you tell us about it?
It occurred to me a while back that I needed to find a way to grow La Noir Image, and I want to turn it into an app. It’ll be a publication with updates and that uses the full potential of the mobile web. Originally I wanted to only do it for iOS but now we can do Android. So it’ll be an e-zine dedicated to black and white photography.
How often will a new edition come out? Is this something that people can look at every day?
A new edition will be out every month and for subscribers that pay a bit more will get six extra issues scattered throughout the year. If you’ve got an iOS and Android device it surely will be something that you can curl up with every day. It’s going to be a fully functioning app.
Why black and white?
Black and white returns us to our roots in a way. Some folks think it’s a crutch, I think it’s a return to art. It renders images into nothing else but shades, lights, darks, etc. Like what Henri Cartier-Bresso said about geometry, it’s more about the content more than anything and creating a solid black and white can be tough.
What about your platform do you think is unique?
There are a number of black and white magazines out there, but none of them are from a known photo publisher. On top of that, I want to take it further than a standard PDF. I want you to sit there and embrace what’s happening. There will be slideshows, videos, really something to immerse yourself in; the content will still include some of those short interviews, longer profile interviews, photo essays where photographers have full freedom to express themselves and talk about a project of theirs, tutorials, a bit of tech, and musings about black and white photography. Plus the standard features that every magazine does.
I want people to genuinely sit back and let us inspire them. And when they’re they done with the issue I want them to go pick up their cameras and go shoot. We need to stop talking about the megapixel race, high ISOs, etc. and instead focus on creating something beautiful.
Can you elaborate on that a bit? I’m curious about how you view the process of being inspired by imagery.
Good imagery I believe riles an emotion out of a person. For example, when you look at a beautiful portrait, you’re often awestruck. Look at an incredible food photo, and you get hungry. Look at an incredible and breathtaking landscape and you’re probably transported there or taken a back for a minute. If you haven’t been to the spot, you may want to. Look at street photography photos and you probably want to go to a city and just let things happen for you to document.
Good images help us progress as humans. Good photography promotes and furthers artistic endeavors. They can also do good to change society and help people. Art overall though is important for someone’s sanity. We need a creative outlet to express ourselves. What’s humanity without expression? This is evidenced in history; many of the photographers who worked for Magnum tried to make a statement with their photos and they helped to change the world. Various other photojournalists do the same thing.
How much of the magazine will be about techniques, and how much will be about looking at work and reading about artists?
We’ve got plans for landscape issues, portrait issues, black and white film issues, street photography issues, documentary issues, even a food issue is being researched. I’m going to do justice for everything because considering the output that Phoblographer consistently delivers, this is going to be a relative piece of cake. The tough part is going to be carefully picking the photographers that will truly inspire others. But I’m confident in it providing we get the revenue.
La Noir Image is a website currently focused on Black and White photography. It’s trying to evolve into a magazine for iOS and Android with full interactivity that will inspire photographers to pick up their cameras, get out there, and shoot. Click here to back La Noir Image on Kickstarter to make the e-zine a reality!