Saturday, June 26, 2010

Black & White Weekend - Pecan Root

This is a section of the gnarled roots of a very large native pecan tree in the Tulsa Garden Center Arboretum.

 I like the look of  it rendered in black and white.  When I started taking photography seriously in 1965 I shot everything in black and white.  I had a Pentax Spotmatic with an F-1.4 lens and I used tri-X mostly to allow decent available light photos.  Since migrating to the digital age everything is shot in color and what used to take hours in a dark room now takes minutes on the computer.

Recently some of the blogs I admire have encouraged me to go back to rendering photos in black and white.  Converting the digital color image to monochrome is a little more than a one click process.  Getting the balance and contrast just right requires some doing.

You might ask why one would want to convert a color photograph to sepia or black and white.  Consider the magnificent photographs of Ansel Adams and ask if they would be as powerful in color.  A monochrome photograph lets us see textures in a way that color does not, and gives emphasis to the larger composition without the distraction of blocks of color.  In the end it is probably a matter of personal taste and I admire a well rendered monochrome photograph.


Dimple said... [Reply to comment]

Good shot! When I first saw this photo I thought of one I took which looks very similar, but is of river washed rock. Think I'll go back to look again...
I think you're right about b&w emphasizing textures. I have always preferred color, but since I've been blogging I have learned to "see" monochrome better than I did before. It does have advantages.

Carolyn Ford said... [Reply to comment] good in black and white. There is so much detail and contrast...creative choice!

Sharon's Mum Anne said... [Reply to comment]

It's almost spooky - a place where trolls and hobgoblins might lurk!
A lovely picture to try to create in pencil or charcoal.

Rune Eide said... [Reply to comment]

I agree with everything you say - it could almost be my story. And you have proved your point with these gnarled roots.

DianeCA said... [Reply to comment]

Black and white is a good effect in many photos, and I just love the texture of these roots. I often admire some in nature but it is not so easy to get a good photograph of what our very advanced eyes easily pick up. Nice one!

Yogi♪♪♪ said... [Reply to comment]

I like how black and white brings out the "character" of a photograph. You do a really good job with it and this photo is a great example.

Dragonstar said... [Reply to comment]


I agree with everything you say about black and white photography - in particular the need to get the balance and contrast right. I love all the texture you have here.

Could I ask you a favour please? I'd be very grateful if in future you could link direct to your B&W post each week, rather than just your blog address. It makes it so much easier for me and saves a lot of time. Thank you :)

Dharma Shots said... [Reply to comment]

I really was thinking if a photo like this would look great in b/ it gives me the answer. Thanks, it looks just perfect.

Serendipity said... [Reply to comment]

Lovely; the textures are wonderful

Mona Sweden said... [Reply to comment]

This picture is definitely a proof of how the textures are showing very distinctly in B&W. I love it!

Luckaa said... [Reply to comment]

It is very interesting!

Andrea said... [Reply to comment]

Black and white is where its at! I love what you wrote about black and white. I have found a company that can take a digital file and make a REAL gelatin silver print from a digital file, no negative needed. (This is not an inkjet but a true black and white photographic print). Check it out and keep shooting B&W!!!!

Johnny Nutcase said... [Reply to comment]

really great textures here, love it!
by the way, thanks for the comments on my blog - much appreciated!