Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Clouds in Black and White - Life on the Dry Line

10% chance of showers
J. Binford-Bell

According to NOAA I am living along the dry line. The dry line is a weather term for the divide between dry atmosphere to the west and moister air up from the gulf to the east. And what we get from this are dry thunderstorms. The clouds form over the mountains and then move away to be tornadoes or flooding events in the mid west. Here we get the 10% chance of rain. And some fantastic clouds to photograph.

Across the Valley
J. Binford-Bell

No rain but lots of opportunities to practice ones dry darkroom skills. Black an white is ever so much more than the absence of color. And done well it brings out details in the clouds the color digital image only hinted at.

Alone on the High Mesa
J. Binford-Bell

Photography began with no color. Ansel Adams made the west famous with his black and white images. And in spite of advancements in color photography we return to our black and white roots but in digital.

Downpour on the High Mesa
J. Binford-Bell

Most digital photo manipulation programs have an effect called black and white. Do not be seduced. It only takes out the color. Black and white is so much more. It is brightness and contrast, shadows and highlights, and yes vibrancy. An intricate dance of elements not unlike clouds themselves. Don't get me wrong. I am a color photographer first and perhaps always. In the days of film I only took black and white when it was a class assignment. I hated having non-color film in my camera. But in this digital age I can have it both ways.

The view from my studio
J. Binford-Bell

And clouds I have found are just beautiful in black and white. It is what is called a noisy sky. Literally because some of these silent images were accompanied by distant thunder.

Trees in Ojo
J. Binford-Bell

The above black and white and the opening photo actually are not pure. They have remains of color in them. Something which was done in the black and white film days with tinting. How much color to leave in and how much to take out is another thing to play with. I am by no means a master. Just a student who is more comfortable in color.

Ojo Valley
J. Binford-Bell

Life on the dry line is interesting but frankly I want rain and the land needs it. Rain will bring back the colors in the land.

1 comment:

I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.