It would be quite the understatement to say that photography has come a long way since its inception in the 19th century. But despite the abundant leaps and bounds in the medium and the almost universal accessibility of a decent camera, classic black and white photography is enduringly popular. Cool, clean and timeless, it may not be easy to master but it’s easy to see why it’s still in vogue.
Alan Schaller is one of London’s best known black and white photographers. His work explores the diversities of human life with abstract and surreal elements. As well as working with high-profile brands for commercial projects, his work has been published in publications including The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Independent.
Like many creatives, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns posed restrictions on Schaller’s life and work, but it also inspired him in unexpected ways.
‘As a street photographer, I photograph life around me but rather than focus on the already well documented trauma the country was going through, I chose to try and carry on as best I could and to find moments of positivity to just be creative,’ Schaller explains.
Schaller’s body of work, created using a Leica M10 Monochrom and a selection of M-Lenses, is now the subject of a new exhibition, Life Goes On, which will be displayed at Leica Gallery London later this month.
‘With a distinct lack of people on the streets, I found myself focusing on the animals and wildlife around London more than I have done before,’ Schaller continues. ‘Truth be told, photography really gave me structure and helped me hugely in terms of having a routine and feeling positive about life around me.’
Emotive, powerful and amusing – Schaller’s photographs are a snapshot of a very strange and turbulent year. Life Goes On marks the first time that the work will be on display, with signed prints available to buy in three different sizes. The exhibition is especially poignant as it is dedicated to the memory of Schaller’s mother who dies in January. Schaller explains that this difficult experience has given him ‘a renewed passion and appreciation for photography. It brings me great pleasure to share it.’
Life Goes On at Leica Gallery London from 22 July to 15 August 2021; 66-64 Duke Street, London, W1K 6JD; us.leica-camera.com