q: when it comes to black and white photography—and black and white in general—what do you love most about it?

lillian bassman: “there’s a power, there’s a mystery, i don’t know how to describe it. it’s either in your blood or it isn’t. it’s how i see things—in black and white. i know that there’s color around, but it doesn’t give me the same kind of excitement that pure black and white does. i find it thrilling.”