Friday, July 23, 2010

My first photography love

Photography as a passion was, for me, first a chemical thing. I started out in 7th or 8th grade with a shiny new Canon AE-1 Program (it belonged to the school) and as many rolls of Tri-X Pan film as I could shoot, develop, and print. I had developer and fixer in my blood for a time, I suspect. It was powerful stuff. (I wonder if I smelled bad. Maybe that's why my social life stunk (accidental pun-- sorry).) Loads of fun, too. Of course, black and white was the only real option for most of us. One school in our district had a color darkroom, but I was never very impressed by the color prints they made. Leave the color to the professional labs. B&W was not only fun, but doable--- really doable.

The advent of digital cameras changed things for most of us, of course. No longer do we need to own darkroom equipment and chemicals (not to mention a DARK room). A few clicks of the mouse, and our pics can be B&W. (I have a friend who not only still does darkroom/chemical B&W work, but also uses a pinhole camera for some of her best work. She did buy a digital camera recently, but she's a hands-on, darkroom junkie at heart, I think.) All of the pics from today's post were shot digitally and then converted. There are many, many ways to convert digital pics from color to B&W. These are all pretty straightforward, however. I own some Photoshop actions that convert them in fun, funky ways, but these are mostly straight conversions.

I post these today as a homage to what I see (and I think I always have seen) as the "coolness" factor of "seeing" in B&W. A "good" B&W shot, for me, has good contrast, a wide range of tones, even gradations (where called for), and a certain sharpness. I don't know what you will think of these, but they represent a range of things that I find both interesting and fun.


What makes a photograph work for you? What appeals to you? What draws you in? How does B&W figure in to the mix?
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3 comments:

Clint Carter said...

What digital photo editing software do you use?

Clark Draney said...

PhotoShop, sometimes, but Picasa (which you've heard of, I'm sure) is very easy and very good for day-to-day edits, etc.

Scully said...

Okay so the one with the cow and the barn is like the coolest photo ever.