Curl Up With A Good Model

March 27th, 2009

Carla0760edit (2) Curl Up With A Good Model I worked primarily in black and white for many years, starting when I first worked as a newspaper photographer back in the days when newspapers only published black and white photos. About 15 years ago I found myself becoming more and more interested in color. I shot a lot of color film and was happy when digital came along and gave me back the level of control (and then some) that I had enjoyed with black and white work.

I appreciate good black and white work, but often color is a significant part of the subject matter for my work, so I seldom appreciate the occasional comments suggesting one of my photos would look better in black and white. Those comments tell me that the viewer of the photo doesn’t understand at all what I am trying to do with my work. That’s somewhat my fault, since what I’m trying to do should be apparent to a serious viewer. But often those comments come from people who are clearly not serious viewers, just thoughtless people with an unthinking preference for black and white photos.

Black and white photos are a curious artifact of the early days of the medium. Everyone working to develop the medium of photography was trying to find a way to record the colors of the image. And they succeeded early on. Color photography has been possible almost since the beginning of photography. But it was technically very difficult to make color photos in the early days. So, black and white was a poor substitute for what was desired. And the gray tonal representation of a color scene is a unique artifact of that twist in the science of photography.

But, that’s not to say that black and white photos are not beautiful things. And that sometimes black and white can be a more effective way to communicate an idea through a photo. But I don’t think black and white has any inherent virtue setting it above color photos as art or as communication. It’s just a different thing. A different way to communicate and create.

And sometimes a photo in black and white just works well and looks nice. That’s the case here. I shot this digitally in color. Athena photoshopped it and converted it to black and white for the model, Unbearable Lightness. And this is one case where I don’t mind the switch to black and white. It works and I like the result. So here it is.

And, speaking of beautiful black and white photography, tomorrow I’ll be going to the Akron Art Museum to see the Edward Weston show they have running through April 26. I hear it is an excellent show of prints actually made by Edward Weston. If you’ve never seen a Weston print up close and in person, you really should try to find a time and place to do that. If you are in the Ohio area this show in Akron could give you a good chance. It’s nothing like seeing a photo here on the web…and is really vastly different from seeing a reproduction in a book, even one with excellent reproduction.

available light, black and white, nude, Unbearable Lightness | Comments | Trackback

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About this Blog

Photos and comments by Dave Levingston. This is the place to see my most recent work which may include nudes, dance, landscape, nature and whatever other kinds of photos I feel like taking.

Since it does contain nude photos, this blog is not intended for viewing by anyone under the age of 18.

All photographs and written comments on this blog are protected by the copyright laws of the United States.

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