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Madison, the streets were empty - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist
abmann
abmann
Madison, the streets were empty



Madison, the streets empty, originally uploaded by ABMann.

There’s one thing I need to remember, one thing that should be my mantra as I look to more photography, more galleries, more art:

    You gotta go where the people are.

Self-evident, sure, but I need to remind myself of this frequently. My favorite art, the photography that really gets be going, requires me to be around people doing people-y things.

From that comes the rest – inspiration, vigor, creativity, confidence.

[Thoughts on the photo]
I’m not big on black and white generally unless I’m shooting film – something about the fidelity of film changes the feel of a photo to me. Otherwise, I don’t like converting to black and white unless I’m divorcing the photograph’s contents from the context.

In this case by removing the color, I’m emphasizing composition:
Shadow versus light from corner to corner.
The contrast of site lines there in and the brick.
The lack of people.

Truth be told, this photo is boring in color but in black and white I can appreciate the mechanics of the photo more than were it in color.

What do you think about black and white photography? Most of the classic photographs, my favorites in fact, are black and white. Most street photographers prefer it, some rabidly so.

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6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
thegelf From: thegelf Date: November 29th, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm a big fan of black and white, but not because of the appearance. I was in one of the last chemical photography classes my high school offered, and I really, really liked the darkroom work. I found it a meditation, of sorts. And I can't do that with color.

When I have my own house, I'm planning on setting up a darkroom in my basement, so I can go back to developing film and printing photos myself.
abmann From: abmann Date: November 29th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is it the color itself or the process that isn't as meditative?
thegelf From: thegelf Date: November 29th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the process. If you're working with black and white film, the only process that has to be done in pitch blackness is rolling it and tucking it into the light-safe development tank. Once the film is developed, you can work in the stereotypical darkroom environment, the safelights don't expose the black and white photo paper.

Printing color, everything has to be done in complete darkness, since any visible light will expose not just the film, but the photo paper too. It's harder to do well, and very quickly became automated.
lipsoflove From: lipsoflove Date: November 30th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm a big fan of black and white photography. It all started when I was doing research on Alfred Stieglitz. For photography to be SO NEW back then, he was a master of it.

There is something about b&w photography that forces me to look at the composition more, and there is a depth to it that pulls me in like no other. Sometimes I think it can make a photo too serious, but at other times, the difference is so striking it becomes poetry.
moocowrich From: moocowrich Date: November 30th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I like that most black and white photography is taken at least somewhat seriously -- which means you can create absurdity even more easily.
zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: November 30th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Black and white is only used under two sitches:

-when I want to emphasize contrast.
-when I use infrared.

I think colors tend to prejudice certain tones to the person's eye and get in the way of interesting contrasts that show in the image, so as a result I use it when the subject is in an array of very similar but stark tones.

Infrared is converted to black and white because infrared is only one tone and it's this purplish-pink tone. It's not very ascetically pleasing unless you remove the tone although I have had a few incidents where the removal of the infrared tone alone has led to some interesting results, especially since it's the most unobtrusive style of flash photography I've ever used.



Edited at 2010-11-30 04:49 pm (UTC)
6 comments or Leave a comment