The Noire Collection: Experiments in Black and White Photography

The Noire Collection is a project that began in a black and white photography class at school, initially showcasing only three images. Back then I thought the use of black and white (and various shades of gray) was only used to evoke a sense of universality and temporality, but the project has grown to encompass more than those initial sentiments.

Since people are generally interested in the lifestyle of photographers and how we spend our time, these images are also included on my Instagram feed.

The composition of many of these images are inspired by Kenneth Josephson’s “The Light of Coincidence” and Jodie Hulden’s “Torrey Pines.” Both artists share ideas about how we observe and interpret the world around us and how these experiences make us human.

One of the most important and transformative things I’ve learned in creating this collection is how to articulate the concepts and themes behind my photographs. Through this collection I found my voice and gained the confidence to stand behind my artistic decisions.

“Airplane Crossing Building”

When I began this collection, I had no idea what to expect. I just knew it would be challenging and exciting. The assignment was to choose one location and photograph items within a common theme. The assignment I submitted was “Airplane Crossing Building.” So much of the project planning involved a lot of looking up at the sky to see which flight paths created the most interesting intersections with the architecture of the surrounding buildings.

The Challenges

The major challenge of this project was in finding locations that I could combine both buildings (or objects) in the shot with airplanes. The symmetry, forms, and perspective all had to be perfect to achieve the desired result. Often times I would stay in the same location for hours on end to wait for the perfect shot.

Technology Used

Of course, technology gives images a particular flavor, so I invested in two cameras that I felt best suited this project, namely the Canon Mark II 7D and Canon Mark III 5D.

Moon Photography

In the second series of the Noire Collection, I photographed buildings in juxtaposition with the moon. This is another “right time, right moment” series. Perhaps one aim of a photographer is to capture these moments that make others take pause (and maybe think “I wish I had my camera with me.”).

To plan these shots, I scoped out the locations beforehand then waited for the moon to be in the right position. Often the resulting images didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, so I would wait another month (or several months) for the right shot.

This collection can be thought of as a book, with one chapter being “Airplanes Crossing Buildings” and the second being “The Moon Combined with Objects.”


An airplane crossing a building downtown
An airplane crossing the broad
Air Force maneuvers from an airplane window
Airplane crossing the Santa Monica pier
Air Force plane crossing trees in Mammoth