Why BW

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    Topic: Why BW Read 49277 Times
  • Paul Sokal
    Paul Sokal
    Participant
    Posts: 482
    Why BW
    on: August 26, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Nice to be able to disagree without name calling. Of course I prefer the BW car. Maybe if the world were ruled by photographers, it would be a better place.

    Toking in color.

    Paul_Sokal_101

    Jeremy Roussak
    Jeremy Roussak
    Gold Member
    Posts: 804
    Re: Why BW
    Reply #1 on: August 27, 2019 at 3:34 am

    Wow. A thoughtful, uplifting and passionate discussion – among photographers!
    Thanks, everyone!!

    Yes! Isn’t it nice to see?

    I considered moving this to grayscale as it is a black car after all, but I prefer the colour version here as the bits of red in the chrome, etc. add another element.

    FWIW, I find the B&W infinitely preferable, particularly as it seems to me to be very well processed.

    Jeremy
    Mike.

    [/quote]

    Daniel Smith
    Daniel Smith
    Participant
    Posts: 98
    Re: Why BW
    Reply #2 on: August 27, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    “Maybe if the world were ruled by photographers, it would be a better place.”

    Do you really want the Leica boys trying to take over everything? You think T-Rump is nuts…

     

     

    "A good still photograph, studied by an inquiring mind, frequently yields more information than a mile of moving images". Walter Cronkite, New York, June 1989

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Silver Member
    Posts: 1102
    Re: Why BW
    Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    I thought with all this Bw talk that I would pst a BW in the article I published today.  In case you didn’t see I have put in the post.  In this case, BW worked better than color In My Opinion.

    .

    Kevin Raber
    CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Participant
    Posts: 641
    Re: Why BW
    Reply #4 on: August 31, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    I don’t have anything nearly as fancy as Kevin’s work, but this was a little cell phone camera fun, pushed around a bit in Lr.

    Mike.

    Arbutus at Witty's Lagoon

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    Daniel Smith
    Daniel Smith
    Participant
    Posts: 98
    Re: Why BW
    Reply #5 on: October 21, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Some subject matter seems to work better in B&W. There is no way I like sunrise/sunset in B&W. No way I like Aurora photos in B&W – they look like clouds and miss the color that really sets the Northern Lights off for me.(Southern Lights as well, just that I live where we can only see Northern Lights)

    That said, the Flamingo’s in snow loses it for me in B&W. It is about Color.

    MG_1957

    Then, the Tractor tire tracks in the snow after the field has been harvested do a lot more for me in B&W than in color.

    MG_1933-copy

    I see way too many images that use color as a crutch as without it they would not stand. Pete Turner and Jay Maisel do color and do it well. Many of their images are “about Color”, not just color images. Color IS the subject, not just part of it. Then there is the color work of Ernst Haas and Eliot Porter, subtle to intense – but always appropriate for what is in front of the lens.

    Many photograph in Color and do so because “that is how it is” and they are looking for a copy of what they see, not an interpretation of the world as they envision it. Literal compared to the world of dreams and imagination.

    As for how one photographs we have “magic hour” for color workers while many excellent B&W images are in much more harsh lighting conditions. Look at the works of Michael A. Smith and Edward Weston and Ansel Adams and you will see a lot of images in “harsh light” conditions many color workers shy away from.

    For me the most difficult aspect of B&W is choosing how I want the final print. Just as Adams with Moonrise, Hernandez I find that different times make for different interpretations of the original negative or image file. So many ways to interpret a scene with B&W and as we change the images we re-print can change. A little or a lot. Add in changing eyesight, aging and life experience and a straight forward interpretation is often not what we end up with.

     

    "A good still photograph, studied by an inquiring mind, frequently yields more information than a mile of moving images". Walter Cronkite, New York, June 1989

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Participant
    Posts: 641
    Re: Why BW
    Reply #6 on: October 25, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    “Pete Turner and Jay Maisel do color and do it well. Many of their images are “about Color”, not just color images. Color IS the subject, not just part of it.”

    Exactly.

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    Louis Foubare
    Louis Foubare
    Silver Member
    Posts: 284
    Re: Why BW
    Reply #7 on: January 19, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Because I believe stripping away the color helps us to see the soul of the image. It takes aways the sometimes distracting power of color revealing the essence of what I was attracted to in the first place.

    Terrific rendition in IR. So tell us about this image, where and what did you shoot it with? Thanks.

     

    As for Kevin’s initial image is all I can say is WOW.

     

    Just an observation. Often when people look at color images they ask themselves how the photographer altered it in post processing.  However, when many people look at a B&W images that question seldom comes up even though the B&W conversion or capture is not a true representation of  a color scene.

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Participant
    Posts: 641
    Re: Why BW
    Reply #8 on: January 19, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Just an observation. Often when people look at color images they ask themselves how the photographer altered it in post processing. However, when many people look at a B&W images that question seldom comes up even though the B&W conversion or capture is not a true representation of a color scene.

    Excellent point!

    Mike.

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    Lance Lewin
    Lance Lewin
    Participant
    Posts: 42
    Re: Why BW
    Reply #9 on: January 19, 2020 at 6:51 pm

     

    Hello, Gents.

    As it relates to BW photography, as many questions about the authenticity of color photographs, now has equal competition from its BW alternatives, including film based versions. I see every day in both online posts, and speaking with people at gallery exhibitions, including my own solo exhibition in 2017. However, Louis brings up an entirely different topic: Louis brings forward the question of the ‘authenticity of a Black and White photograph‘ (regardless if it was digitally converted or a result of developing BW film negatives).  

    As we head further along the digital photography highway, I see more and more people talking about what is acceptable – as it relates to “true” photography. Not “straight” photography, but instead, identifying between “Digital Art” and “Photography” as genres. (I for one, am a strong advocate for new and more consistent categorization of photography, but more about this in another chapter, in another forum.) Yes, the more we manipulate a photograph (and as important, the methods used to do so) the more one tends to view these artistic pieces as Digital Art, then Photographic Art. The Twenty-first Century’s (Epic) conundrum continues to get harder to solve, indeed.

    Louis eludes to a reference tagging Black and White as a manipulative process: BW film photography was the standard (and only option) for capturing a subject for about 90 years before Color film became part of the photographer’s palette. Color brought another dimension for creativity (and yes, authenticity) or mirroring the real in even more precise detail. However, only from the mist of the digital photography revolution have I seen Mike’s question (become a popular query) than in any time prior. And this query is baseless.

    Rendering a subject in grey-scale (again, regardless if converting a digital file or developing a BW negatives) is all about “seeing” and ingesting the “whole” frame. Successful photographs (and artistic paintings) are ones that can reveal its Gestalt: where interpretation of the whole is more expressive (interesting or seems to “prick” the viewer, as Roland Barthes so eloquently coined in 1980) than the artworks individual details. Then we can also suggest a BW rendering, perhaps, even more than color, reveals how we “see” in real-time and thus BW photography presents a truer sense of reality.

    “Why BW?” Even after color film was introduced, (especially in the early years) BW photography was still the hallmark of what represented Photographic Art – and like then, even now, viewers of Black and White photography are dictated to interpret the “whole” as opposed to the individual sensations of color: as a consequence, BW renderings still stand as the forefront of what defines Fine Art Photography to many photographers and patrons of photographic art.

    No. Black and White photography is not manipulating or otherwise representing a skewed reality, instead, may actually support more closely to how our eyes and brain work in union to reveal our World in all its beauty and intricate detail.

    Points to Ponder.    

    Lance A. Lewin

     

     

    Lance A. Lewin

    Lance Lewin
    Lance Lewin
    Participant
    Posts: 42
    Re: Why BW
    Reply #10 on: January 21, 2020 at 10:31 am

    ‘….revolution have I seen Mike’s question (become a popular query) than in any time prior. And this query is baseless’.

    And of course, I meant, Louis in this sentence.

    Lance A. Lewin

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