Seeing Through Their Blacks and Whites

Narrowing down my favorite monochrome photographers of all-time

Anne Murayama
7 min readFeb 18, 2020

I am so nervous to write this piece, as I have never really sat down and listed my favorite photographers for others to read. I’m not even sure how to categorize or order them, but randomly enumerating them seems more difficult. As I nonchalantly write this, I hope I’ll be able to do so without this parking this draft for too many weeks or months.

Years ago, when I used to be the editor of Lomography’s international magazine, I wrote a series in their lifestyle section called, Best of the Best. It featured a number of classic photographers and their famous photographs, most of which were monochrome. Unfortunately, this article on Julia Margaret Cameron was the only one left of the series online. I haven’t visited their website for years, and apparently they have removed my account as well.

At that time, I wasn’t exclusively shooting in black & white, though. But, already, I had a strong inclination towards black & white photographs because of the heightened emotions and timeless beauty they exude. But that was probably the main reason why I came to appreciate black & white photography all the more.

Since I worked for Lomography, I had to edit and review so many articles that featured very colorful photographs that looking at colorless photographs was refreshing and relaxing.

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Anne Murayama

fka Erin Cross. Based in Tokyo, Japan. Black and white visual storyteller.