Even in today’s super-saturated world of rich, bright and dazzling colors, black-and-white photography continues to offer an unmistakable aesthetic power. A passing instant rendered timeless; a landscape’s form brought into sharp relief—in its simplicity lies its power.
Here are 16 projects published by LensCulture that were among the most popular with our readers worldwide this year. Enjoy!
Laura Hospes, UCP-UMCG
This series of self portraits were made in a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt. They offer an artful and emotional window into the gaping maw of depression, anxiety, confusion, fear and loneliness.
Ilknur Can, iPhone Street Photography from Cuba
Using a digital black-and-white film filter on her smartphone—and photographing in a country on the cusp of a great transition—this photographer attempts to blur the distinction between past and future.
Valerio Bispuri, Encerrados: Latin American Prisons
Italian photographer Valerio Bispuri spent ten years in South America photographing 74 different prisons. His astonishingly ambitious project combines photography, anthropology, and journalism to try to understand the continent through its prisons, which he feels represent the brutal and hidden reality of a country.
Hajime Inomata, Ways of Seeing: On the Streets or from Your Kitchen Window
Jeff Gusky, The Hidden Worlds of WWI
Deep inside long-forgotten underground cities, photographer/explorer Jeff Gusky has discovered incredibly preserved remains from the First World War that bring this 100-year-old conflict back to life.
Chang Chao-Tang, Looking Back at a Giant of Taiwanese Photography
Giacomo Brunelli, The Flâneur: Hamburg Noir
Calogero Cammalleri, Lampedusa: Immigration, Tragedy, Reflection
Ofir Barak, In All Seasons: Mea Sharim, Jerusalem
In this Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, the inhabitants have chosen to reject modern, secular culture and embrace traditional religious life. An outsider has expertly used the language of street photography to explore this 21st century society.
Sandra Pereznieto, Back to Silence
“The silence of the impressive landscape and the miles of solitude consistently brought me back to my own self. The experiences I had there were essential in my search for a silence that I had somehow lost along the way.”
Bill Jackson, North Sea Drawing
Night falls, and the sea comes alive. Using pencil-thin light beams, the North Sea becomes a canvas for the waves to draw, track, and map themselves. Launched into the sea, the light combines with the natural power of the tides to begin the process of creating unique drawings. More than simple seascapes, these black-and-white images reveal the Earth’s natural creativity.
Anna Agoston, The Tree That Bears Fruit
Roger Ballen, Outland
A new, expanded reprint of this classic photobook still has the power to make the viewer feel disturbed, uneasy, and not quite sure what to make of these staged scenes of marginalized people in South Africa.
Brandán Gómez, Mística X
Experimental double exposures and layered photographs create imagined landscapes where objects and situations appear in apparent disorder and create spaces “where beliefs of any kind can be real.”
Magdalena Switek, Pestka
Moments of adolescent metamorphosis that rise above cliché. These photos capture the awkward unease of teenagers on the cusp of innocence, awareness and becoming something different, not yet adults, but no longer care-free children.
Alain Laboile, La Famille 2015