Black and White

Black and White

I love black and white photography. It’s where I started when I purchased my first camera. My next door neighbor where I grew up went to Ohio State University and got a degree in Medical Communication.  As part of his education, he took photography classes.  He used to come home and show me some of the things he had been doing.  I was blown away by what you could do with photography.  I decided that at some point in my life, I would get my own camera and learn how to use it.  Later, when I attended Ohio State, I got that camera and took classes on photography and photojournalism.  I  learned how to use that camera (a Minolta SRT 201) and process the black and white film myself.

 I loved being in the dark room with the safety light burning over my head. I loved the smell of the developer and fixer. I loved watching the print emerge from the developer as you lifted and lowered the developing tray. I loved bringing the images out into the regular light and really looking closely at them to see where I needed to do extra work, dodging areas that were too dark and burning in areas that were too light.  I loved getting the spot tone out and painting little dots of black on the spots that showed up on the print (today we use the clone stamp and healing brush to fix those).  I loved mounting the image onto the mat board and seeing the finished product, or seeing your images in print in the newspaper.

I miss that. I miss being in a room full of enlargers and other photographers around you working on their images. But with digital photography taking over from film photography, much easier to do all that in the computer. Now, I long for the time I spend behind the camera composing an image, really looking at the light and making sure that the image looks great and capturing the image. I look forward to getting home and getting the images into the computer so that I can start to really look at them, really start to see what needs to happen to make that a truly special image.

For these images above, I use a software tool to convert them to Black and White.  I love the way that it gets the tones just right and it also allows me to emulate different film styles, like Kodak Panatomic X 32 ASA film.  I really liked shooting that film.  It had a slow speed with a really nice fine grain to it, but the best part was the velvety blacks and luminous whites that you got from that film.  

Darr Family Portraits

Darr Family Portrait

Two postings in two days, but that’s how it goes sometimes. As I said in my last posting, I’ve been shooting more portraits lately and that’s perfect for me. I love doing portrait work. And it was especially fun working with this family.

I’ve been photographing their son since before he made his entrance into the world. And I hope that continues long into the future. He’s such a cute kid and you can see the ornery coming out of his eyes at times. In the image with the park bench, he climbed up on it and went through a series of poses without any inhibitions (of course at his age, he hasn’t learned any).

These images were also taken at the same park where I shot Ian’s Senior Portraits. As I said earlier, this is such a beautiful park. I had to laugh to myself though. It’s senior portrait time and there must have been 10 photographers and their subjects at the park that day. At one point several of us were grouped around the entrance to the park waiting for our clients. It reminded me of a press conference with all that photographic gear. I gotta say though, photographers are a fun bunch to hang around. We’ll strike up a conversation with anyone and if you are carrying a camera we end up talking gear and images.

Ian’s Senior Portraits

Ian Senior Portrait

It’s been quite a while since I last posted. I’ve been crazy busy, but it’s been so much fun. This month has been especially wonderful since I’ve been shooting more portraits and events than I have in so very long. One of the portraits I did this month was for Ian. He’s quite a talented young man and I’ve been very impressed. He’s quiet, doesn’t say much, but he does have a very sharp sense of humor. He’s a Eagle Scout, so you know that he’s dedicated and works hard. Those rewards aren’t just handed out. In addition, he’s a cross country runner. The morning we took these pictures he clocked his personal best time for the event.

Ian doesn’t smile much but he did for me. His mother was pretty amazed that I got that out of him. I’ve been around Ian since he was small and he’s always been a great kid. He’s related to the folks who live next door to me and though I didn’t see him often, it has been fun watching him grow up. He does have some plans for after college and I’m sure that what he sets his mind to, he will succeed. I’m hoping to keep an eye on him to see if he fulfills his goals.

We shot these images at one of the local metro parks. I’ve lived here for a long time and this was the first time that I had been in this particular park. What a gem it is. The landscaping was fantastic and they had finished putting in all the fall flowers. The weather was perfect for the day, mid-70s with some clouds, and gorgeous sunshine.

There were lots of really cool places to pose for pictures. Near the entrance to the park is a large rose garden with a wonderful pergola and bench area. We didn’t get up there today. There were two wedding parties shooting up there.
Next, they have a large herb garden with beautiful walks and hedges. Beyond that is a waterfall with walkway that goes down a hill until you get to the collecting pool at the bottom. We didn’t get much beyond that, but I think that the paths continue on for a long way.

We got into trouble with that third image. There was a spot there where you could see that other people had been standing to capture an image. Just as we were finishing there, one of the park rangers scolded us for being in the flower bed. He was right to give us a hard time, but I was very careful to make sure that Ian stepped only on the bald spot and didn’t disturb any of the other flowers. I know that the Ranger was there to protect the flowers and the grounds and we were in the wrong, but it was such a great spot for a photo, I couldn’t resist. Maybe I better make a donation to the park to pay for my stepping into the flowerbed.