If you frequent this blog (and I hope you do) you know I love black and white photography. I broke my teeth on it, visually speaking. (please see more text and color version of this photo below)
During my high school years, in college and then when I started my career in photojournalism, I spent countless hours in darkrooms, cropping photos under an enlarger and watching pictures develop in trays of Dektol under amber safelights. I love digital but there was a certain romanticism about watching a photo develop right before your eyes, it was magic. I miss it.
The beauty of digital though is you can shoot a photo in color and then process it in black and white if you want to later. So the questions becomes, are you really ever shooting in black and white or are you just post processing in it?
Well, before I get too far off track and become mired in a ditch next to memory lane, lets talk about black and white flower photos.
A few years ago I attended a lecture by one of the top flower photographers on the East Coast. He challenged his audience to think outside the box when photographing flowers. He told us just don’t shoot the front of a flower, tried looking at a plant from it back side. He then said, flower photos do not always have to be in color!
What? Sounds crazy at first, but then you start thinking about some of the masters who shot incredible plant/flower photos in black and white, like Robert Mapplethorpe or Edward Weston and all of a sudden it makes a lot sense.
Both of these photos were taken with a 60mm Macro at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Va.
When looking for a good candidate for black and white treatment I think strong lighting, well defined graphic elements and a variety of tones that would translate well into shade of black, white and grey are important ingredients. In my mind, this flower was a perfect candidate. So of course you can always change a photo from color into black and white later but if your goal is to produce a monochromatic image from the start, it is good to think in these terms.s
I would love to get your opinion. Do you prefer the color or black and white photo on this post? How often do you process flower photos in black and white?
To check out some other ISBAA posts with photos from Green Spring, please click here.
Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, Rob
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