I watched the Freddie Gray protests unfold with two different eyes. One eye kept a watch over editorial photos for the Baltimore City Paper and the other looked out for shots that would evoke the raw energy of the events best rendered in black and white.
Much like Magnum photographer Gilles Peress’ seminal work Telex Iran, my black and white photos are more about mood, anger, time, and rage stripped of color. I do not shoot zoom, which is to say that all my lenses are “prime” or fixed so I have to get close to the action to get these photos. Sometimes I get too close.
Many aren’t “sharp” or “crisp” and that’s the intention. To make the viewer feel them as if they were right there, in the battle zone, not as if they’re staring at perfect photos on a newspaper page. I’m posting the photos daily on a Tumblr called Gray in Black & White.
J.M. Giordano is the photo editor at Baltimore City Paper.