Seeing the World in Black and White
Another trend has been quietly sneaking up on me, during this opening month of the new year. In addition to my latest series, the desire to convert my images to black and white has slowly made its preference known. Over half the images posted for my 2012 365 project, have been black and white or monotone images. Something is definitely going on here. I have dabbled in black and white in the past. But this feels like something new.
Perhaps it’s the time of year. Winter, so often devoid of color, seems to be a natural time to explore the starkness and contrast offered by black and white processing.
Trees silhouetted against the gray winter sky, the rows of shorn cornstalks. The gray tones allow you to concentrate on the textures and lines, without the diversion of color. The image becomes a graphic statement of bare tree silhouettes and the rough carpet of stubble.
The black and white world outside my front door window. A day of swirling, blowing snow. Me, glad to be inside, in the warmth. There wasn’t much color in the original image – converting to black and white gave it a clean look, allowing you to focus on the texture of the icy-cold water droplets. The stark simplicity of this image is enhanced by the monotone treatment.
An architectural abstract. The conversion to black and white emphasized the optical illusion effect of the overlapping grills. The original image was primarily silvery gray, except for the yellow bricks in the bottom right corner. Since our eyes are attracted to areas of color first, desaturating this image kept the focus on the strong horizontal lines and that feeling of vertigo that I wanted to highlight.
Creating effective black and white images involves additional skills, both during image creation and in post-processing. I am still learning, still exploring this method of photographic expression.
What about you? Is black and white the way you are seeing your world these days?
Linking in with Mosaic Muse: Winter in Black and White
Here are some tutorials and tips from Digital Photography School if you would like to explore further: