8.21.2009

a little of this and a little of that {in black and white}

clouds and powerlines
window
i recently reconnected with a friend on facebook—a long ago friend and classmate. she graduated the same year that i did, but was not at our recent high school reunion. so i had a lot of catching up to do on her. as i looked around her facebook page—so as to catch up on what is going on in her life since i last saw her—i discovered that she also loves to take pictures. i saw some of her photos in her albums, and was very impressed. she states in her "about herself" blurb that she loves taking black and white pictures. so she inspired this post.

even when i had a film camera, i never bought black and white film or took black and white photos. i rarely take them now, but i often convert some of my pictures to black and white in photoshop. i really like black and white photography {which is why i had started my black and white in a grey world series a while back}.

i've seen a lot of it that i admire. for instance, this photographer's work—steve mark—whose photos i discovered when i saw them displayed at my favorite local coffee shop. {click on his name to see some of his photography.} all the photos hanging up at the cafe were taken at an airport near my town—a small airport whose traffic consists of smaller planes. the photos were just breathtaking--so crisp and clear.

ever since i saw those, i have wanted to make it over to another airport that is even closer to where i live to try to get some interesting shots. i still plan to. i don't know if i will convert those shots to black and white or not. i guess it depends on how they turn out.

that is sort of how i do black and white. i just wait until i see a color picture or pictures that suit the black and white mood. and if it does, i convert it. i went through some older photos over the past couple of days, and i decided to pick some that i thought would look nice in black and white. i really liked a few of these because of all of the variations of tone that would give the black and white version some nice contrast.

{and i just now realized as i was writing this and looked back over the photos i chose to post, that they all represent things i love--some of which fascinate me. trains {{fascinated by them}}. nature and birds. doors and architecture. clouds and power lines {{so fascinated by both!}}. coffee {{addicted to more than fascinated by}}. water, waterways and bridges. windows {{i just love windows}}. i guess it's more than just their black-and-white-ability that drew me to use these photos for this post.}

are you a fan of black and white too? do you use film to shoot? or digital? if digital, do you use the camera's black and white setting, or do you convert color shots with a photo editing software?

16 comments:

Carolyn Ford said...

I do like black and white but maybe sepia even more. I use my camera settings rather than convert by editing. However, someone told me you should change it in Photoshop (or whatever).
I don't know why exactly...I often take a photo with both color and black and white and decide later which I like best (or both)...I sound I can't make a decision here...

Carolyn Ford said...

I also meant to say that I love your photos in black and white. I am very partial to the window and curtains. That one is exceptional!

maccandace said...

Nice photos, they all look great in b/w! When I used to take photo classes back in the late 80s, early 90s, I shot exclusively b/w because we developed all our own film. Since going digital, I don't very often convert to b/w but I should experiment more. When I do convert them, I do it with software rather than through the camera (I ought to try that, too, I guess).

Alicia said...

I am, again, right there with you. I LOVE black and white, but rarely shoot it. I also convert it in photoshop... Maybe I need to switch things up and shoot a day in black and white.

I Absolutely LOVE the powerlines in black and white! And I love how you can see the clouds in the sky behind them.

spread your wings said...

i do really like black and white photography. But I haven't shot it since college. Now I just convert it in PS if seems that it will make the photo stronger. I love your images - my favorites being the power lines and the window.
maybe i'll just go look at that old college stuff now.
like the post today

Char said...

my photography instructor always said to shoot in color so you have the choice for conversion but sometimes I wonder. Because the contrasts may not really be seen if you do that. I don't know. But I do love high contrasty B&W photography. I love your bridge shot - it's gorgeous. Of course the others are great too but the bridge shot is just outstanding.

Haphazardkat said...

I always shoot my pics in color then convert them to black and white when I'm in the mood or trying to capture certain angles.

I love your powerline shot. I can see why you love that!!
Also the bridge one and the last window one. girl--you are so talented I'm jonesing at seeing what life is going to offer you in your near future :)

Sandy K. said...

Great shots - I love the lines and shapes. I just read an article that said you need to "see" in black and white to get a good black and white photo. Just as you described, you look at a photo and begin to see how the shot would take form should you remove the color. This is what I'm practicing more and more. Like the flower photos I just posted. You typically think "color" when you think about flowers. But, when you look at the shape and form of a flower you begin to see the architecture in the image which would convert to b&w. Does this make sense?

So...I do take b&w, but mostly do computer conversion because I get too caught up in the picture taking to change my settings much:). I also like that if I DON'T like the b&w conversion I still have the color shot. Better to be safe than sorry.

I think the shots you have above work in b&w very well, particularly the train tracks and the doorway. Happy photo gathering!

beth said...

I always convert while editing and I'm very picky about what goes black and white and what stays color....

YES...I'm a black and white snob !

even with my senior photo consults, there are some photos that I tell my clients HAVE to be black and white or HAVE to stay color....of course they have the final say, but it's the one area where I am very opinionated....told you, I'm a snob that way :)

and do I love black and white ?

almost as much as my hubby !!

beth said...

oops....and the last photo of yours....AMAZING !

and can ONLY be black and white....see, there's my snobbiness rearing it's ugly head again !!!

Meri said...

Yes - I love finding shots that beg to be desaturated and having the contrast heightened so they look as if they were destined to be black and white. In fact, I have a very interesting shot of the underside of a bridge that I was looking for a quote that says something interesting about building bridges. God forbid that I should have to be clever myself on a Saturday morning.

elk said...

i do appreciate your black and white stream here my friend.
I usually will turn my camera to black and white and shoot that way...just seems as though I can see it...I did one today of the cello and chair and it is dark..but nice.

Steve Gravano said...

beautiful series, I love the last one of the window and curtains is my favorite.

apriliniowa said...

These are lovely, Georgia. I'm loving the doorway arch and the gossamer curtains in the windowframe. Tres jolie!

Lisa said...

these are great! i think my favorite is the last one, of the window and curtain. it's beautiful, and soft. i really enjoy how the light it hitting it...i just think it is perfect for black and white and it just looks other-worldy.

i rarely take black and white photos. usually, i just take all of my photos in a color setting and then convert them to black and white later on my computer if i feel it would look good in black and white. i started doing this once a photographer friend of my boyfriend said that doing it that way gives the photo a better quality. hmmm. i'm not sure how true that is...or if that was just his own personal opinion. hehe. but i started doing it like that anyways...i like that it gives me options. i can have it as a color photo, or i can have it as a black and white photo, or whatever!

thank you for this post!

Oliag said...

Lovely, lovely Georgia! I love converting photos to black and white because I am always so surprized how different they become...I enjoy seeing how the conversion changes the photos whole "soul"...can't express what I mean but there you go...