Friday, December 26, 2008

Through A B & W Lens

What do you photograph when there is nothing to photograph? Well, one thing I like to do is to start looking around with my B & W lens. Yeah, you are right. There really isn't a so called black and white lens, but if I imagine that there really is such a thing then I can force my eyes - brain(?) - to see in B & W and forsee what could be.

These photos were taken on Christmas Eve while I was waiting for my wife to come out of P.T. Sitting in my jeep on a rainy winters day looking out through wet windows, there really isn't much color to see. This is when looking through my B & W lens becomes easier. The trick is to frame, focus and shoot between the wiper scraping across the windshield or roll down the window and shoot before to much rain or sleet comes in. It really helps if you pre-visualize, first, what the final image is going to be.

Did you know that if you would look at a negative of an Ansel Adams photograph you would not recognize it from the finished product? Ansel would first visualize what the finished image should be. Then he would expose for the look he was going for and in his darkroom he would use different chemicals, paper and dodging and burning techniques until the image would come out of the bath looking like he first saw it in his mind when he took the original shot.

With digital imaging we can do, basically, the same. Try it some time. Pre-visualize what the finished image should be and set your exposure accordingly, frame, focus and shoot. Then in your favorite digital darkroom software work on the digital negative until you get it to come out of the "bath" looking like it was when you first visualized it in your mind. This can go a long way in training your mind to see what others may not, and what you know is there. And, most important, shoot for your own enjoyment and not to please others.

Unless you are photographing for money what should it care if others don't like your work as long as you are satisfied with what you are doing? This took me a long time to figure this out and when I did photography became fun again. And isn't that why most of us do photography in the first place; for the enjoyment of it?

Hey, enough preaching from the pulpit. The photos are, from top to bottom:

Window Point
Pipe & Windows
Flags & Windows
217 Scratch
Icy One Way
Wrong Way

As usual, if you click on any photo you will see it in a larger version. All of these were taken with a DSLR and an 18 - 105 lens. And they were taken in normal priority mode. When I shoot for a black and white finish I try to do so with the look of something from the past, if I can. Even in B & W this is still my world.

Actually I grew up in a black and white world. By that I mean that the first TV's where in B & W, and boy was it great to watch; two channels and you waited between programs with a test chart on the screen. I still remember the Friday night fights, my Dad and his friends and Pabst. Once in awhile I even got a sip :-)

Anyway, this is my world, and even in Black and White I still love it, and you are welcome to it.

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