Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An Autumn Walk

I love water. I need to live close to it. The larger the body of water the better. The Susquehanna River is no slouch in full filling my needs here. Though it ain't the ocean!! But I can deal. Walking along a body of water is very therapeutic for me, I try to do it often. Though it does not happen as much as I would like in the coldest of the winter months.

Here are a few shots from one of my October jaunts along this water way. Vibrant colors, movement and tree species juxtapositions all make for very cool compositions.

When shooting color I like to stay away from ultra contrasty, saturated colors. If these appear naturally well then, no problem. But my passion has always been, and remains to be BxW. When it comes to BxW I like to mold and shape the tonality of the image. My goal being to create great tonal relationships. With color images I feel a responsibility to the integrity of the image, so colors matter. If they are unnatural than the scene as I saw it is not truthfully represented. Don't get me wrong, I do fine tune color images so that I get the very best colors and tonal quality from them. I just try to stay away from fantasy. My first photography instructor made an impact on me with the following statement: A photographers job is to show the world to their viewers in ways that they have never seen it before. I always took this to mean showing the viewer what they are missing all around them- to accentuate the ordinary or show them a place/person/event they have not seen with their eyes, not to create something new for them to see.

When it comes to BxW as long as the tonal relationships make sense I may shift them around more freely to make the image have more impact. Shades of gray instead of color reduce the world in the image to relationships of the elements with in the scene. This allows the viewer to more easily see what the photograph is trying to say. Since the colors are removed the viewer is placed in a position of voyeur instead of participator. After all we don't see in shades of gray. Where as with color images the viewer can feel the reality of the scene, these images are literal representations.

I Love to print BxW images. For the longest time after moving to digital I missed my darkroom. I sold it all in early 2003 when I bought my D30. But in the last few years I have come to appreciate my current tools. I print my BxW with an Epson 2200. This printer uses archival inks and has a great reputation. Although it is now about 3 (or is it 4) generations behind Epson's current printer in this model line, it still gets the job done. I like to print on Ilofrd papers they make some lovely surfaces that remind me of my days printing under the dim glow of a safe light and the smell of fixer hanging in the air.

To see more images from this collection please click HERE.

1 comment:

Journeys said...

Hey Paul
Love the two b & w you included in the blog....but my favorite has to be the leaf held up to the sky!

love you