From Black and White to Color

I studied photography when I went to college, and got my BFA in 1978 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University (it was a joint program, art classes at the Museum School, academic classes at Tufts). At the beginning of my school days everyone was working in black and white exclusively, that was considered “art.” But then a bunch of us started experimenting in color. I never looked back, although I remember now that developing and printing color was very hard, you had to be very precise about maintaining the temperature of your chemicals.

But moving from black and white to color. It was like that moment when Dorothy steps out of her tornado-flung farmhouse and into the world over the rainbow. It was so spectacular, and glorious and shimmery and enchanting. Unlike Dorothy, I never wanted to go back home! I thought of that when I ran up to the roof the other night, when we were having that sunset of all sunsets (and I was thinking there was a chemical explosion to explain it).

Empire State Building, New York City

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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3 thoughts on “From Black and White to Color

  1. Stacy, I love this! I always thought of black and white as “art” but really love color photography. I just had cataract surgery and I run around saying I feel like Dorothy when she opens the door onto color, it pops!

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