My growing love of black and white

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Have I mentioned lately how taken I am with black and white photographs? I’m finding more and more that I want to remove the color from certain scenes and distill the image down to important compositional elements. I’ve actually started printing and framing some of these to hang at home. A simple, black frame with a white mat looks pretty classy, as does a rich, dark brown frame with an off-white mat. I’ve been printing at 11×14 and then framing at 16×20, and although I do love bigger prints, I’m finding that this is a good size for most spaces on a wall, especially if you want to group a couple of photographs. Here’s a quick sampling of recent black and white images from Acadia…Β anyone missing the normal colors?

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31 thoughts on “My growing love of black and white

    • David Patterson

      Thanks. I’m coming around to your way of thinking. Just tonight I was out shooting the Supermoon and the sunset before it… all I could do was wonder what the scenes before me would look like in black and white. I’m hooked!

    • David Patterson

      They are filling up fast!

      First is Otter Cliffs, the second is the far end of Sand Beach looking back at the Beehive, the third is Monument Cove, and the fourth is a little rarely photographed lighthouse that is my secret πŸ˜‰

  1. I have a running debate with EVERYONE I know about B&W movies. But, once they watch a few oldies, they are always forced to admit that B&W movies are generally more picturesque so I know exactly what you are talking about. B&W is beautiful.

    • David Patterson

      I’m definitely with you on this one! Without color to distract, what’s on the screen had better be good… that’s why (good) black and white absolutely rocks!

  2. JA Shanks

    Must be going around. I’ve been playing around with B&W here and there. Took some today that I was thinking of going B&W with. These look great.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks. That photograph of Monument Cove is actually an older image scanned from a color slide, and that’s probably why the exif information isn’t showing up on it. My best guess would be iso 100, f16 and somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 a second.

  3. At a certain point in his learningproces every photograper suddenly seems to appreciate B/W images. Sometimes it can be a relief to be disconnected from the urge to capture those fabulous colors and going back to the basics. The outcome is to create a balanced image whit every tone between black and white. Much underestimated. You’re doing very nice here.

  4. All these images look wonderful in black and white. I particularly like the last one with the lighthouse – great movement in the water. I agree with you, 11×14 is a good print size.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Simon. I don’t now how many times I have visited this lighthouse with hopes to get conditions like these. When it finally happened last summer, I was over the moon.

  5. Such great work, David. Texture, value, composition and contrast – amazing in “black and white” (they’re not really “black” and “white” are they? Everything in between too). I’m very impressed with the scanned slide – the image, certainly, but the conversion process and preservation of all the “goodness” in the image is wonderful. The old technology is still giving back good stuff.

    I especially like the final photo. You captured concordant shapes in the sky and water – almost mirror images – and the compositional balance from left to right is, well… I hate to repeat myself, but it really is wonderful.

    Amazing what the right mat and frame will do for the impact of a piece isn’t it? 11 x 14 becomes an enormous wall hanging after frame and mat are done. And as said earlier, working with that size makes you run out of wall space quickly. With my wife being an artist, we have to rotate and choose carefully what we hang. Fortunately, the pieces don’t “hang” around too long before they find another home (sorry… couldn’t resist).

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Rick. Actually the second and third are both from 35mm slides. Though I do miss seeing newly processed slides on a light table, I think the advantages of digital outweigh the benefits of film. I used to shoot Velvia, and the detail rendered was always amazing… it definitely translated well from the scans.

      I am becoming a huge fan of seeing a print matted and framed, especially a black and white photograph in a simple black frame with a white mat. Thanks for the kinds words.

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