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Exploring the poetic impact of black and white photography

6 years ago

Huibo Hou is based in San Diego, California, USA. She is a full-time wireless communication hardware design engineer and part-time fine art photographer. Her image, 'Morning Glory', is commended in the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards. Her work has also been recognised in the International Landscape Photographer of the Year, Monochrome Awards International Black & White Photography Contest, and the Best of Nature Photography Show. 

"Photography is the art form I chose to express my view of the world we all live in. I especially love the poetic impact of Black and White photography." - Huibo Hou


Hi Huibo. Thanks for taking the time to chat. Please introduce your self and your photography 

I'm Huibo Hou, based in San Diego, California USA. I'm a full time wireless communication hardware design engineer and part-time fine art photographer. My main interest is landscape photography with a focus on black and white.

Why photography? What drew you to the medium?

It started many years ago with a simple purpose to reproduce the natural beauty I was able to visually witness but not able to capture with my point-and-shoot camera. Since then, photography has brought me many thrills since I could bring back beautiful images from exotic travels and share with family and friends. However, through the years it has slowly evolved into something much more than that. It went beyond just recording the natural beauty, but became a way to train my artistic vision and learn to discover beauty through the lens. Sometimes, familiar places or even mundane scenery around us can be transformed into something exquisite by creative composition or under extraordinary conditions. I feel very excited and satisfied when I am able to do that.


Tell us more about your successful image in this year's competition

'Morning Glory' is a hot spring in Yellowstone National park. It was named after the flower, which the hot spring resembles. I've been to this hot spring quite a few times in spring and summer, but this was my first time visiting it in winter. It was a quiet cloudy morning, just me and my family. Using long exposure helped to demonstrate the silent mood of Yellowstone winter.

Although I have a passion for black and white images, I don't avoid producing color images when subjects and atmosphere really suit. 'Morning Glory' is such an example.


What are your top tips for creating stand-out landscape photography?

When I capture the images, I visualize the end results and I'd remember that visualization. I would also remember the emotion the scene made me feel at the moment. These two elements combined guide me through the post-process work when I sit in front of the computer: whether it is dramatic and contrasty, or soft and airy; whether dark and depressing, or light and whimsical... I strive to have my images convey these emotions to the viewers.


Where in the world are you and what's next for you? 

My son is still very young so I can't travel very often, but visiting Yellowstone has (almost) become our family tradition so I will go back visiting for sure. I love American Southwest and would like to deep dive its less-explored part in the near future. I would love to visit northern Europe as well. I will continue to explore my passion for black and white landscape photography, and hope to get published more. In the future, I'd like to expand to other photography genres such as street photography.