Interview with Cody Schultz | GBPW Episode 127

Michelangelo, for instance. Everybody thought that he didn’t make money until after he had passed away. The truth of the matter is quite different than that. The truth is that he was essentially a millionaire in his time, a very wealthy artist. Not a lot of people know about this. When they think of being an artist, they don’t necessarily think of it as a viable career path.

Cody Schultz

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In this week’s episode, I have an eye-opening conversation with black and white photographer Cody Schultz. A few years ago, Cody decided to pursue black and white film photography. This decision allowed him to have a better connection with his subjects and to express himself in a wider variety of ways.

We talk about:

  • The reason Cody decided to pursue black and white photography
  • How to take black and white photographs that stand out
  • Large format photography, from cost to inspiration
    & much more!

I hope you enjoy listening to this episode with Cody Schultz. He has a lot of interesting things to share about black and white photography, nature, large format cameras, and much more!

Here is a preview of our conversation with Cody Schultz.

Q: Why did you decide to switch over to film?

Cody Schultz: The whole reason why I wanted to switch over to film in the first place was that I was finding myself spending so much time in front of the computer. In general, I’m not huge on technology as much as the rest of my generation is. I’m not a part of social media as of a year ago. I’ve tried to spend more time out in nature than sitting in front of the computer at home.

I decided to switch over to film, which has helped me feel more connected to the process as a whole as well as get away from the hundreds of photographs that I would take during a single trip. Now, I take maybe three or four, if any at all.

Q: What is large format photography like?

Cody Schultz: It’s about $5 If you’re processing at home and scanning at home. It can very quickly add up, depending on how you’re used to photographing and how many photographs you’re used to taking at a time. So almost automatically, because you have that in the back of your head, you need to be thinking more deeply about what it is that you’re going to be composing.

Outside of that, you also have a very slowed down process. You can’t just pick up a large format camera and handhold it, take a photo, and walk away within a couple seconds like you can with a digital kit. It becomes a very slow and methodical kind of process.

Q: What advice would you give to photographers who want to make their black and white images stand out?

Cody Schultz: It should be a conscious decision. It shouldn’t necessarily be an afterthought. A lot of people will take a photograph while they’re out. They’ll come back, load it up on the computer, and say, “Oh, it’s not that great. Let’s try black and white.” They use black and white as a way to turn a bad photograph into an okay photograph. In my mind, that’s a really poor excuse.

The other thing that a lot of people miss is that you need to be focused on tonal separations a lot more than you do within colour. These tonal separations are much more difficult to notice unless you’re in the woods and get graced by fog, which, at least in Pennsylvania where I am, doesn’t occur very often. You need to find different ways of getting that kind of separation.

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