The Magic of Black and White   Leave a comment

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the great photographers of both past and present who made (or make) beautiful, iconic images in black and white. They trained their eye to look beyond the color to envision the scene in shades of grey. Those shades of grey became their palate and the stories they told with those images will always remain in my mind. To me, the image of the sailor, excitedly grabbing and kissing a passing nurse at the end World War II (taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt) would not have the same impact in color. Ansel Adams’ famous photograph, “Moon Over Hernandez”, would not have the same, awesome impact in color. Philip Hyde,, while he made numerous fantastic landscape images in color, speaks volumes with his black and white photograph of “Escalante River Near Willow Canyon, Glen Canyon, Utah”, photographed in 1964. Think of all the photographs of the green pepper taken by Edward Weston. Color could never replace those rich black and white tones of his most famous of those shots, “Pepper No. 30.”

I could go on with those masters of the past but even today Clyde Butcher is out there, lugging around an 8 x 10 view camera making wonderful black and white images along with many more who produce the majority of their work in black and white, using both digital and film.

I shot this image the other morning with the Lumix FZ35 point and shoot camera. I hadn’t had it off the shelf since I got the Nikon D60 and I decided it needed a little workout! This image of the leaves was shot in RAW so it was in color, but the more I looked at it on the monitor, the more it cried out “I need to be a black and white image”! And you know what? It was right!!

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Posted April 24, 2013 by hwilliam in Photography

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