Thursday, May 30, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Much of what passes for black & white photography nowadays actually looks like color photography that has been amped in Photoshop and converted to B&W. I suppose this stems from most B&W originating in digital cameras, almost all of which are equipped with color sensors. Most users have come to photography by converting to color and have never really developed a B&W aesthetic. In their minds, I suppose, B&W is nothing other than color images without the color. When I can see everything in a B&W image in a heightened, super-realistic sort of way, it just creeps me out because it simply doesn't look right. Real B&W is as much about the shadows as it is about the lights, as much about what you can't see as what you can.
A few weeks ago I attended an outdoor party with friends. The lighting was atrocious and, even more importantly, it illuminated the scene from the wrong direction. Anyway, I managed to capture this image of a couple at the party and got just enough illumination on the woman's face to make the image useful. I don't like that the highlight on her chin is clipped, but considering this was shot at ISO2500 and pushed two stops in Lightroom, I think it's the best that can be hoped for.
I really like the image anyway, though. You can see in it a couple that appears genuinely happy with each other even though you can't actually make out much else in the image except two silhouettes and a smile. IMHO, this is what B&W is all about.