Word and Image

Black and White

Black & White

I like Black & White but I’m not going over to it anytime soon. I’m going along too fast to pause and make the adjustments on my camera. Mine is not a slow walk. I have photo shooting opportunities… maybe I should stop and smell the roses. I’m retired. What’s the rush? It’s hard. I’m too much go and not enough slow. Ok, bad rhyme.

And with all the time in the world to get it right, I still am able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I should be checking and rechecking. There would be fewer mistakes.

I make mistakes and learn from them. And when it really counts, I am ready set. Even then I can and do make multiple shots to ensure I have gotten what I envisioned. Meanwhile, I’m always learning. It’s always nice to have options.


Eyes

It’s in the eyes. When you see it you know it? Love? When you are in love you know it. Black and white is kind of like that. The absence of color makes me focus on the eyes. It’s arresting. I know I like it. Would it be the same in color? No, but then again, I didn’t shoot this in color for comparison either. It stands alone. I have two cameras ready to go now. One set for color, the other black and white. It’s not the same as converting after the fact. I do have a brain that splits and I can think and chew gum at the same time.

Alas, I am still color > 99%.

 


Color – Patch

Ha ha! A white cat – in shades of grey. Funny?! Pardon the extreme ISO. If you are iPhone ignore the last completely. Color has subtle ways of drawing viewer attention. BxW is about grey – shades. Different vibe, your choice. My preference? I yield to well made, well exposed, well printed BxW. I’m color. Maybe I can think again in BxW. For now, my work is 99.9% color. Patch is the name of my cat.


Out of range

Ansel Adams I am not. Good cat portrait? See the white fur. The digital sensor is not capable of shooting extended range. It’s complicated. But so, it has always been. The human eye is better in some instances. The white fur is overexposed. In black and white this is the first thing I noticed. In color it’s ok by me to notice the eyes first. Color, black and white, it’s different in so many ways. It’s easy enough to do, why not keep experimenting?


Black and white

Evolution. I started in black and white – Tri X. I developed my own because I was on a budget. Cheap! It’s a mindset you never lose. It’s why memory card are so wonderful. Unlimited shots (seemingly) for little money. Color. Nope, expensive, till I developed my own slide film. Heaven. I never shot another frame of black and white. The color was like landing in Kansas in the Wizard of Oz. Color was totally seductive. I never looked back and never used black and white film again.

Black and white is a mindset. You have to live and dream in it. Ansel Adams, my hat is off to you.

Black and white is easy. Photoshop, whatever. Just convert your color to BxW. So simple. It is. But it’s not the same as thinking in BxW. For that you need to see your subjects in tones. I’m a color guy. For sure. I see color. It might be fun to experiment. The camera will shoot BxW automatically. But, then, I would want my color too. Easy, shoot color and convert it. It’s just not that easy and definitely not the same thought process. Drat!

And the cats? Elle is behind the door. She’s separated in order to recover from a wound to her tail. The high chair is against the door handle in order to prevent the sisters, Spice and Feather from opening the door. Yup, they can jump the handle and get the door open. As you can see, they are patiently awaiting entry. They are more curious than sympathetic. When I let them in, they went straight for the food and water. It’s not punishment. Elle just needs some quiet time.


Iguazu Falls, Argentina

When we finally visited David in Argentina, it was my second trip to South America. Remember, we visited for the wedding in Peru, where we parted from our favorite son. And yes, he would still be the favorite if there were another son. Fortunately, Julia is our favorite daughter, but she was in Africa, simultaneously, teaching. Lisa set up a trip to see some of the sights in Argentina. In retrospect it was like coming to America and traveling to Washington, Chicago and New York. Argentina is a large country. The plane flights were long and demanding. Iguazu Falls is Argentina’s comparison to Niagara Falls. But, I have never been to Niagara as you know from my rugby post. Iguazu was very large, the largest I have seen. And it was wet! Not just the falls but it was raining when we set off to visit the falls on our day and a half stay. Mostly it rained steadily and in between it poured – as in deluge. I shot this sepia processed image on the Canon G11. I let the camera do the work of converting the image. It’s not sharp because it’s raining. There’s rain everywhere. I’m soaked. We had just returned from a boat ride under the falls. Rain slickers and umbrellas were no match for that. The spray from the falls is mixed in with the steady rain. The hotel towels, which I brought were soaked so there’s rain on the cameras and lenses as well. In fact when we went into the hotel dining room for lunch, my Nikon and our two Canons were so wet, condensation could be seen behind the from lens element glass. Fortunately it was clean water and evaporated as the cameras adjusted to the cool air conditioning. I was still more than a little concerned to see the moisture collecting where I had no chance to disassemble the lenses. Otherwise, neither cameras nor lenses have given any problems since.


Hibiscus

Shooting Star resort. I have many photos of hibiscus flowers made  over the  years from tropical climes I have visited. My first memory were of the flowers in Hawaii. One early sunrise at the Shooting Star, as I walked by this blossom, I noticed the high key light on the yellow flower. Once home, I edited this photo and converted it to a sepia toned image. It makes stunning graphic interpretation of a flower that I have seen many times before. The conversion tones give the image a surreal glow. I really don’t recall having to do too much post processing. All the elements were just perfectly setup for this image to work.