What makes an enigmatic photo? A photo which is hard to decipher (even by you), in which you gotta squint closer to make sense of what you’re looking at. A photo that feels other-worldly. The only monochrome sublime aesthetic I’ve seen thus far is from Josef Koudelka.
1. Experiment with different lighting situations
Something interesting I have noticed and learned:
To shoot minus-exposure compensation photos (as dark as possible) photos in the harsh Southern California sun is fascinating … the light renders differently on different surfaces.
No amount of post-processing can make a black and white photo to have a certain look in terms of the light reflections in a surface in a photo. Just stick to one camera, one lens, one JPEG filter … and keep that variable consistent, and what you experiment with is different lighting situations and environments.
I believe this is the great secret behind making interesting photos in a boring environment — make the light itself your subject-matter and focus of your photographic experimentation.
The goal is this:
Strive to make photos in which when you look at them, you don’t quite remember what it was … and you must use your memory and imagination to figure out what you’re looking at.