Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Okay fine, I can do Black and White

 Thematic Photographic 123 see more of Black and White at Written Ink

Yes I can, but it might not be exactly what you would expect ;)  I've never understood the artistic fascination with Black and White photography.  Yes, yes there is the drama and all, and that can but used quite well for effect occasionally (and it has it's use in portraits), but it more often just sucks all the life out of a subject in my humble opinion.  It tends to aggravate me when someone take a nature photo, most especially flowers, and then tries to tell me how much more artistic it is in black and white.  WHAT?!!! I think not. 

So yeah I'm a color girl, but I also take my photography seriously and because of the "black and white is the art form" mentality I've been forced to dabble my toe in the waters if I want to be taken seriously as a photographer.  I love how wide open Carmi is about interpretations of a theme.  Although I actually said "Ugh!" when I saw this weeks theme (sorry Carmi, it was just a knee jerk reaction for me) I knew that I would have plenty of leeway to offer up my own quirky version.  So I should just shaddup already and show you the pictures huh?

Sacred Geometry 

I do, of course have some traditional examples.  This abstract was taken of a sculpture in Washington DC a couple of years ago.

And yes, here again we have the obligatory spider shot ;)  presented here with the black and white being the spider's color ...

... and again here where the silhouette just begged for the conversion.  I was doing spooky Halloween shots when I was first learning about photo editing.

For something completely different I have this photo of a mime who posed for me at a festival in North Charleston. 

And to prove I do actually understand about 'drama' I offer this rather different view of a passion flower.  I do wish you could see this without the black frame my blog automatically puts around photos.  It's best on a white background. 

And that's it for today's show.  I am back, and with a vengeance.  I have lots to share that I put off last week while lost on the farm.  I actually have some photos I went out and took for the electric theme that I missed last week.  I'll probably share them anyways soon as they were taken at the County Fair here.  Tomorrow is Weird Wednesday already, and I have a few more things I'd like to get in here.   I'm trying to catch up on y'alls blogs too ... plus I found a few new ones with the guest posting gig.  OH my yes, and a warm and hearty welcome to you new folks, jump right on in ... the waters fine.


  1. I had to stop and stare at that first photo. For a really, really long time. You captured so much detail, motion-in-stillness and a host of inexplicable things. You're right- it just wouldn't be the same without color.

  2. I LOVE that passion flower.

  3. Hi Ti! Yeah, love the color in that shot. It almost felt wrong to post it for a black and white theme, *grin* and that made the rebel in my happy ;)

  4. Thanks Ckrets. I do like that shot, but had the lighting been better I would have liked it better in color. I love passion flowers.

  5. such a variety of the theme...i deven like the spider, but the best is the mime...or the butterfly...toss up..

  6. Yay Bruce, for the spider comment ... I'm gonna convert you yet buddy. Had to include the mime here for the totally unexpected factor.

  7. Hi Sally,
    What a wonderful collection of photographs you have submitted. This is very impressive and it's always a pleasure to visit your terrific site.
    Have a peaceful and positive day.
    In kindness, Gary :-)

  8. Slightly arachnophobic, but I still loved the spider silhouette. The mime, on the other hand, just made me laugh, in a good way. The look you captured on his face is priceless.

  9. Hello Gary, Thank you very much for your kind words and peace and positivity right back atcha.

  10. Hi Max,
    I find that many people who write are arachnophobic for some reason and it's interesting because Spider is a 'writers totem'. I've never been afraid of them but see them everywhere, all the time ... and always have. Someday I'll have to share the story of discovering my totem, she worked hard to get me to pay attention.

    Glad you liked the Mime, wasn't sure how he'd go over but I liked him.

  11. Sigh... Girl you have mad photography skills.. each one is a work of art... simply stunning..

    Oh my...

  12. ok as long as the spiders are not IN the house...we are ok...

    pics should be ok as well...

    if they are in the house..or in my capn crunch...then we's got's a problem...

  13. Thanks Lynn and Jules,
    I've been working at this for some time now. For the themes I get to dig into my 'archives' and I take A LOT of photos.

    I LOVE digital, because I can take as many shots as it takes to get the shot I want ... as long as my subject is cooperative. I probably trash more pictures than most people take in their lifetime.

    I LOVE my camera. I started with a simple point and shoot and when time came to upgrade I shopped very carefully. It's still a point and shoot, but a very nice one. It needs work right now ... buttons are sticking but it's still hanging in there.

  14. Bruce- that's a deal! I feel the same way about roaches, the regular kind or more especially the giant flying kind they like to call Palmetto bugs here in the South (not fooling me I know a roach when I see one!).

  15. That butterfly photo was fantastic! I loved the bit of red on the B and W. The mime was great too! It's one of the first mimes that didn't annoy me when I saw it! The look on his face was pure joy!

  16. Hi Lolamouse,
    and thank you! I was thoroughly fascinated by the butterfly, it was the first one of that kind I'd ever seen. And the Mime was funny! and he obviously loved what he was doing.

  17. MS: beautiful photos!! Must admit I feel a bit like you do about the b&w theme - I like colour!!

    You made a fantastic job of it, though. My favourite is the butterfly. Stunning!

  18. Hello Alexia,
    Glad you could stop by. If I had to choose just one it would be the butterfly, that's why she got top billing this week. Thanks for the lovely compliments.

  19. Beautiful shots. I saw a post once of all butterflies in monochromatic shots, where removing most of the color actually enhanced the shots because it took away all the busy-ness and drew your eyes to focus on the lines of the butterflies, which are stunning in their own right. For me, it depends on the shot. I've always been perplexed by black and white portraits somehow look more alive to me than color?

    I love both. You have an amazing eye for photography.

  20. All great photos :-) I like colour and black and white. I like myself in black and white because it hides my red cheeks and nose!

  21. I really like black and white for portraits--I think it hides human flaws which has a romance to it, but I agree with you about nature shots. I LOVE though, the shots you have of a black and white 'subject' in a color photo--that butterfly, in particular, is stunning.

  22. So glad you managed to put Farmville down for a few minutes ;) Love all these pictures, but, got particularly pulled into the first one. I agree with you; flowers really should be in colour. That’s the point of a flower (to my mind).
    The enigmatic, masked blogger

  23. The passion flower just begs to be enlarged and posted on a plain white wall, no border. I would enjoy that hanging in my house


  24. I see an art show in your future. Your work never fails to impress and amaze.

    Thanks for the laugh re. my choice of topic. I'll do my best to avoid the "ugh" response in future :)

  25. Oh my! A great big thank you to all who stopped by and commented. You guys are great!

    @WeaveDreamer - While I'll agree that sometime B&W enhances our ability to notice details because we're easily distracted by things like color, I don't buy that the butterfly picture 'itself' is enhanced by removing the color ... make sense? But yes, it does depend on the individual shot. And humans are another subject altogether.

    @Juniper and
    @Hart - I totally agree that there is something about human portraits that definitely lends itself to B&W photographs. I don't know why that is, but I recognize it.

    @Mask - I think that IS the point, yes

    @TheGearheads - on a white background it seems to crawl up out of the page, yeah it's that much better.

    @Carmi - Your little 'exercises' are good for me. I have to stretch my mind to come up with unusual ways to present shots that fall within the realm ... and yet are unique to me. I love your Thematic Photo gig, you don't need to change a thing. I need to not "knee jerk" before thinking. Thanks so much.

  26. These are amazing.


    It makes me so happy and proud that you are from my neck of the woods!