We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's a cool picture, like the ones in James Agee's "Let us now praise famous men". Will go hunting more of hers to admire. Thanks.
But I love color photos myself, and not just cute kiddie birthday cakes and fluffy puppies.... Plenty of emotion comes thru IMHO. Loss, regret, delight,mockery aching loneliness,murder, agony, the fierce yellow of a gull's grasping claw over cold blue winter ocean, the slimy brown of crustacean plucked from shattered purple shell, fifty shades of bluegreen in a preening peacock's zoo tail! The red buds swelling fiery spring at the tip of winter brown branches. Hope. Messy as life, as sippican put it in that excerpt here in the blog today. Messy, jarring, beautiful in clashing complexity.
To me, black and white photos mainly appeal because they keep us at one remove, like a friend of mine who likes to stay always just out of reach, masked, mysterious. More emotion to be imagined about the partially revealed than experienced when it's all out there.
Black and white has Serious Photographer connotations. By definition they are shot, developed and viewed with more care than garishly realistic digital color which can capture Nature in all it blooming, buzzing confusion. When I shoot a bumblebee I would feel cheated if I couldn't capture the gold of the pollen she collects, or the hot pink of the flower that lured her. Of course realistic can also overwhelm, like steamy summer heat, making one crave relative cool calm b&w abstraction. Like watching sexy, witty, haunting film noir instead of racing to a crude and redly bloodspattered real life emergency room. Eliot reminded us that humankind cannot bear very much reality. Of course, what I think draws us all so rapt to black and whites is the sense of what's "really" there, hidden beneath the surface. Nature notoriously uses color to mimic, to trick, to camouflage,to distract. Still, I guess there are times when the surface deception of color is freighted w emotion too.
But "one removed" which way. Subjective to the individual I suppose. Depth or shallowness. I see depth myself, in B&W... a dampening of the glossiness and distractions of 'real' life. I like mystery, imagined emotion... it can, at times, be so much more interesting and thought provoking than the humdrum of daily life. Not speaking of avoidance per se... just an opportunity to reflect on the greater world that surrounds us.
But Retriever, I think you changed your opinion between the beginning and the end of your comment. It is all good, it goes without saying. B&W does capture an essence which can be missing in a more distracting color photo. There is room, and reason, for both.
Change my mind a lot, Luther, lately. Like the rabbitting beagles my family raised on a farm for hunters when young, I have a tendency to follow a scent and get lost. Until the sound of the pissed farmer across the street's gunshots (get those damned mutts out of my corn) scared em home again...
Y'know, it reminds me of Cyndi Boste's first CD Home Truths, whose cover art I examined for quite a while when I got it, a gas station in Australia, that exactly reminds me of my childhood in the 40s and 50s, but I couldn't say why. I think it's the style of the pumps.
http://home.att.net/~rhharding/boste001.jpg photo of cover
A couple of .mp3 track segments offered here
I'm converting color images to black and white for a print project today at work. One shot of a beautiful African girl with a blue scarf around her head loses much in the conversion. The B&W version has its charms, but the color version pops--it brings you into the enviroment rather than abstracting it.
Shooting sunburned skin in warm light with Fuji Velvi 50 or digital white balance set at 10,000 kelvin is going to give comical results. (Just toss on an 81b filter for that extra punch). But I remember going to Mass in Chicago once on a overcast winter day and in the middle of this sea of parishioners dressed in grays and blacks was a woman wearing a tight, bright red sweater. Black and white would have lost her in the crowd, but imagine the shot with something like Portra 400VC. Wow.
The scene in Lange's photo works well in B&W and the sepia toning helps bring out the depth in the photo. Color might have caused the key points of the composition to be lost in visual clutter--it's brilliant--but in the church scene I described and a B&W depiction would be pedestrian.
Color and B&W are two different mediums; Lange knew hers.