EDENTON — A fascination with black and white photos goes back years for Jeremy Groves.
Now that interest has led the photographer to begin shooting a series of photos in the medium that will be part of an exhibit he’s creating. That exhibit, “Edenton In Black and White,” will be displayed at the Chowan Arts Council Gallery later this year.
“Black and white film was what I started out taking pictures with in high school,” Groves said, “and I’ll always have a soft spot for that.”
Groves, now 33, said that as a teenager he even had his own darkroom set up in a bathroom at his family’s home.
The revered black and white photography of Ansel Adams inspired him then and continues to influence his work today, he said. Adams’ 10-zone system, created to provide the greatest contrast possible in a final print, has been an invaluable asset, Groves said.
Groves added that this project gave him a rare opportunity away from his business as a professional photographer to just create something that was personally meaningful to him.
He decided to work on the project after completing a series of black and white images of local landmarks for the offices of a local optometrist, Dr. Stephen Benkusky.
“This is something I’m doing just for me,” Groves said.
He said that images he has captured so far for his exhibit include everything from the clock tower atop the 1767 Chowan Courthouse to a panoramic shot of the Edenton Cotton Mill condos.
Groves said his biggest challenge in creating the exhibit would be to capture familiar images of the town that have been photographed endless times in a new and distinctly different way.
“I’m photographing places like the Barker House and the Cupola House that people have seen gazillions of times, and looking for how I can show them in a whole different way,” Groves said. “Using black and white film gives me the chance to use a fresh approach, and to look for angles that will let me capture these images in ways people haven’t seen before.”
Chowan Arts Council Executive Director Murielle Harmon said she was excited to find out about Groves’ project and to have the opportunity to share its results with the community at the nonprofit’s downtown gallery.
“We are looking forward to showcasing the work of Jeremy Groves through his Edenton In Black and White exhibit,” Harmon said.
Those photos, Groves said, will include some pictures of the waterfront he shot in black and white during the recent snowfall in town.
Aside from the challenge involved, Groves said, the experience has reminded him of something he used to know.
“I’d forgotten,” he said, “how much fun black and white photography is.”
Anyone interested in more information about Groves’ upcoming exhibit may contact the Chowan Arts Council at 482-8005.
For the past 10 years, Groves and his wife have co-owned Groves and Groves Photography in Edenton. They specialize in wedding and portrait photography.