Sunday, March 03, 2013

It's a World of Colour

Hall & Oates - Abstract
Sunset Light

Whether it's stark colors and sharp edges or muted, rich colors that remind me of the old Renaissance masters, the world is full of color, even if those colors border on black and white. That does not mean it's a black and white world. Black and white is an artificiality we imposed on our world because that's all we had for the most part, especially in early photography. From black and white prints in old newspapers, to monochrome photographs stretching back to the late eighteenth century, black and white was de rigueur. Color was the very rare exception.

My first camera was an Instamatic 104. The first photos to come out of it were black and white. When I started developing film on my own it was Tri-X, both 35mm and 120/220. Color, while certainly available, was expensive and required someone else to process and print, adding to the cost. That all changed with digital. All of a sudden I had the ability to work with color to a degree I never even had with film-and-paper based black and white. And yet, in spite of the incredible flexibility provided by the technology I did one of two things; create pseudo black and white, and try to create clinically correct color.

I'm moving away from black and white the way I'm moving away from larger cameras. The little cameras are powerful enough (have been so for a good while now) to be rich tools to explore the incredibly rich color palette of the world. After 50-plus years of personal photography, it's time to truly walk alone.

Technical

Top photo taken with E-M5 and M.Zuiko 40-150mm R. Saturation was boosted to 20 in the Olympus photo, blacks deepened. Bottom photo taken with Sony NEX-5N and Sigma 19mm. Bottom photo was post processed. Clarity in the Sony photo was adjusted -50 to soften the details through the photo.