Elegance And Darkness

I too love B&W photography. Unfortunately, when I switched over to Digital from film, I somehow ended up leaving B&W behind. Its not that you cannot shoot B&W with a Digital camera. Its just that Digital cameras do not make it easy or natural to shoot in B&W. I have a great portfolio of B&W that I have taken over the years -- some of it quite good. Unfortunately, I have not scanned any of it into digital format and cannot post an example here.

B&W is particularly great for certain subjects. Historical subjects and old architecture render especially well. I have some wonderful shots I took on the French Quarter of New Orleans, literally in the midst of a hurricane, several years ago. Although shot during daylight hours, there was enough light filtering through the clouds to enable me to shoot at about ASA 400 and a slow shutter speed. The results were incredible, filled with texture, darkness, and shadow, but not so dark you could not appreciate the scenes. It looked as though I had shot at night. Streetlights glowed eerily, water poured from downspouts, many of which are crafted into gargoyles, and combined with the ironwork and french architecture, it could have been shots from an old Vampire movie -- and of course there was absolutely no one on the streets except stupid me with my camera wrapped in plastic and a rain tarp.

Two other subjects I love with B&W -- one was old turn of the century industrial sites, like an old copper mine and smelting factory in Tennessee, and the other is the skeletons of old dead trees. I got some fantastic shots at Volcanoes National Park in Arizona with these dead trees rising up out of black volcanic rock. One in particular could have been the hand of God, rising up from out of the earth and pointing into the heavens with one long finger.

Finally, as any fan of B&W knows, some of the most famous B&W shots ever taken were shot by Ansel Adams in Yosemite National Park. I had the pleasure of visiting Yosemite early one spring, in the midst of a snow storm. Instead of shooting in color, I switched to Tri-X, my favorite B&W film with an ASA of 400. I got so many fantastic shots I have most of one room of my house papered with them.
lickitysplit lickitysplit
66-70, M
3 Responses Jul 10, 2010

i'm so sorry to hear that your camera and lenses were stolen! looking forward to some pics from your new camera!

Thanks Beaubill -- I'm afraid I do not have a meter but I do have a negative and transparency scanner -- I just need to find and take the time to scan some of the photos in. I appreciate the suggestion. Thank you<br />
<br />
Orchidsub -- My camera and all of my lenses were stolen about two and a half years ago and I was so devastated that I lost interest for quite a while. I am finally starting to get involved again, but I need to figure out how to use this camera to shoot B&W. Again, as I said to Beaubill above, its mainly a matter of taking the time to do the research to figure out how to do it.

i love black and white photographs! i was wondering why i see so many less of them now, maybe like you said it's bc of the switch to digital cameras. have you been able to get any good b&w pics with your digital camera? i adore black and white portraits... i like the emphasis on shadow and mood, the highlights along the planes of the face and body.