I was going to open this photo blog with a sentence about this being a week of black and white photography. But that is not entirely true. Day 149, the photograph directly below, is in fact a color photograph. And Day 151 is a sepia treatment. Sepia is a color. As a painter I can say that black and white are also colors.
This week I decided to focus on the bones of the composition. The tones. The lights and dark. And that is easiest if the brilliant colors, my usual favorites, are stripped or minimized. I used to hate it in college when my instructors forced me to work with black and white film. But that is the bare bones of photography. And a cheaper dark room. And Ansel Adams was the master to follow.
And color film was not that dependable then. And when I got out of college and had to take my black and white film to developers I had no control of the product. I dropped black and white and switched to color slides.
Digital DSLR's have given me the freedom to return to the lessons I learned in college and add a few more. Winter has helped too. I am back in control of the post processing of the image. And my camera is not loaded with a whole roll of color film I have to complete before loading black and white.
When I decided to begin again to practice black and white I read lots of articles on it. One tip was to consider black and white from the moment you take the picture as if your camera has only black and white film. Well, that didn't work for me. Except in winter where snow storms erase color.
Another tip was a noisy sky. Not in the photo above, and no sky in the one below.
The two photos below have noisy skies. But the last photograph, my favorite in this series, does not. After a winter of playing around with this discipline I have decided it is all about the light. But then photography, color or black and white, is all about the light. And the bones of the composition.
When I am reviewing my captures on the computer the questions I ask myself are whether color is necessary, and is it a better photograph without that distraction.