Saturday, July 30, 2011

Feeling a bit Black and White

I love color photography and it's hard not to.  We're surrounded by color and we're used to associating specific colors with different emotions.  In fact, take any art class and I guarantee you'll receive an art instructor sermon at some point that discusses several color-to-emotion relationships.  But, a lot of the emotion that certain colors evoke just seem to come naturally, as if our brains are wired that way.  That's why color photography can be so powerful.

An Adventure Awaits
So, one would think that if all colors, except black and white, are removed from a photograph that we would end up having an emotionless photo, right?  Well, it depends.  Some of the time, that color-less photo IS going have no emotion and look like nothing more than a gray slab.  But, other times the transition to black and white arouses emotions just as powerful as those brought on with colors.  How can this be?

For me, black and white photography is about simplicity.  You take away all the distractions and get right down to the raw data - the nitty-gritty.  If that raw data is captured effectively, then the final output can be pure bliss.  But, instead of colors, black and white photos must rely more heavily on compositional factors - shapes, leading lines, framing, balance - and the use of lighting, contrast, and textures to awaken our emotions.  And, although there is no color, I'm fascinated how the many shades of gray can affect me as if the colors were there.

Bighorn Sheep on the Lookout
Bighorn Sheep on the Lookout
With that in mind, I've been in a *mostly* black and white mood when working with several new photos that I captured on our recent vacation to visit some of my family.  We traveled back to my hometown (Green River, Wyoming) and continued to Grand Junction, Colorado and enjoyed every minute of it.  Compared to past vacations, I really didn't take that many photographs.  But, I'm quite happy with those I did capture.  New photos can be found in both the "Nature and Wildlife" and "Landscapes and Scenics" galleries.  However, I've also created a "Black & White" gallery as a quick-click way to showcase my color-less creations.

To wrap things up, there is one more new gallery titled, "iPhone," which, as you may have guessed, features photos captured and edited on my favorite mobile gadget.


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