White is the new Black

The Whites are a series of photographs by photographer Mike Mclean. I met Mr. Mclean when he and I were students at NSCAD University in Halifax. We were both studying photography together. Since graduation I have kept in occasional touch with Mr. Mclean who I believe is now working on the west coast of Canada. I also recommended his work for publication in BlackFlash Magazine in my position on the editorial committee resulting in his Post series being featured.

I really liked the idea and images of Mr. Mclean’s white series as it appealed to the wet lab photographer in me. If you have experience printing silver gelatin photographs then you are aware of the importance of achieving a “true” black in ones images. It is one of the first principles traditional photographers learn when printing as the lack of a full rich blacks are often seen as a detriment to the final print. Here Mr. Mclean has turned that convention on its head by examining the need to achieve a pure white. Here he has printed images that without a full rich white would be questionable images. The difficulty in printing the proper brightness of white is an interesting problem for photographers. Achieving a white is both the opposite problem of black and sometimes considered an error as photographers who are often obsessed with ensuring the presence of tone in all areas of the print. As Mr. Mclean shows here the need for the white at times can be equally pressing as that of the black.

To see other of Mr. Mclean’s photographs please visit his site at: