Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shades of Gray

How does one decide if an image should be black and white or color? There are as many explanations as there are photographers to explain. For me, it's always intuitive. Color expands and stretches the imagination, tickles the brain and fires up emotions. Black and white subdues and reveals the structure, focuses the eyes and makes you think. Woodstock was tie dye but formal events are always black tie. Musicals are in technicolor, film noir is black and white. I suppose I tend to choose color or black and white based on the mood of the subject -- or my own mood when shooting the subject.

Sometimes, though, it's interesting to mix it up. Like here. The whimsical blue building above looks much more serious and austere in monochrome. It's kind of fun to move past the obvious and find another layer.

19 comments:

Judy Williams said...

This screams to me in black and white with every nuance of greyscale to highlight the lines and shapes. Beautiful, Laurie.

You said in your explanation, everything I thought but couldn't put into words. Happy Sunday. :~)

JAMJARSUPERSTAR said...

It's blue really? Hah hah! i thought it was a prison or a police statin or somethnig! You're right - a point well proved I think Laurie!
Ciao

Scarlet xx

Virginia said...

I gave this lecture to Wayne just the other day. Typical student, he daydreamed in class and doodle on his paper during the entire lesson! I even made him write "I will try BW" a hundred times! But I'm sure he'll listen to you L! HA
V

PS I love this in BW. Perfect choice. I agree. The photograph will tell you what it needs to be.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Oh yeah, 4 this structure, LA, I think your female & my dog intuitions agree: B&W.

Yakpate said...

Wow, what a difference! In color the building looks like something from Toontown. In grayscale it looks austere as a prison, but I think that's because the angle of the vertical blinds makes them look like bars.

Liz Taylor, who had one of the most beautiful faces ever filmed, looked better in black & white, in my opinion.

Walker said...

Great shadows captures perfectly best in B&W. Lovely.

Trish said...

The Security Pacific bldg is amazing in color. The B&W however, makes me look at structure, lines and shading. It took me a few seconds to even consider which bldg it was in B&W.

Great shot...and keep up the B&W...you'll know when it's not a B&W shot.

dbdubya said...

The good news is that the old Security First National Bank building has been bought by another bank and is supposed to be restored and reopened as a bank again. The building has not aged well.

Wayne said...

WhatEvverrrr!

Virginia said...

I rest my case!!!!
V

Laurie said...

Virg, let's kidnap Wayne and force him through an Ansel Adams retrospective!

Mister Earl said...

Has any GOSP follower ever bought anything at the furniture store that resides in that old bank building? I've never been in there, although I've dived their dumpster for cardboard cartons once or twice.

dbdubya said...

Mr. Earl - I haven't bought anything at Gandel's, the furniture store in the old bank building, but I've shopped there. I also know people who have bought from them. The owner is a nice man and his prices are good. Most of his sales are from catalogues. If you need furniture and know what you want, it's worth checking with him - at least until he closes shop.

Virginia said...

L,
I'll bring the handcuffs, you bring a muzzle or duct tape, whateverrrr!!!!
V

Babooshka said...

Handcuffs, muzzle. I am getting a totally different vibe now. Back to the image. I'd go along with intuitive. I hate rules, especially in photography, even though I have to abide my some work wise, but to me you are right about intuition. I know what I like. This is perfect for mono for the creepy shadows, line and form whereas the strawberries woukd have been criminal to loose that lush red. Whatever floats my boat I go with.

Trish said...

have never known anyone to actually buy anything from the furniture store. has ALWAYS been rumored to be "connected" to a Chicago type family but have never known SPPD to investigate.

handcuffs and muzzle and duct tape...oh myyy! ;-)

Laurie said...

Hey kids,

I leave you guys alone and when I come back we're talking about handcuffs and duct tape! :-)

I never know what these posts will inspire. Yet another reason I so dearly love this blog.

Mister E, I have wondered about the furniture store, too. I've never been inside. I wonder if he sells patio furniture, too? That's something we're in the market for...

Dbw, a bank bought this building? Well now we know what those banks are doing with bailout money -- they're buying real estate! (I kid, I kid...) It will be nice to see the place restored. I am very fond of it.

Thanks for all the conversation today, all. Until tomorrow...

Virginia said...

Laurie,
I think it's bigger than handcuffs and duct tape. I hear there's some vacancies at Gitmo. It's brainwashin' time for W!!!
V

Andrew said...

Waaaw really amazing to see this..great photos..

This is pretty interesting...

Thanks for sharing..
___________________
Andrew
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