The Black and White Challenge

June 01, 2016  •  2 Comments

rustic barn photographs for sale Early Morning ChillEarly Morning ChillA cold fall morning, a creek carring run off from the Geo thermal springs and fountains runs through a dead forest. Mist from the creek creates ice crystals on the grass all backlite by the sunrise.

In 1935, American Eastman Kodak invented a tripack color film they called Kodachrome. This wasn’t the first color film to it was a big step towards modern color film and prints. For many years black and white was still preferred mostly to the cost of developing color. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s and early 1970’s that color film and prints became the norm for photography and black and white slowly faded away. Highland School HouseHighland School HouseLocated just off US Highway 2 in Eastern Washington, The Highland Shool House sits in wheat field. Also known as the Baird Shool, this one room school house has seen better days. One of the many interesting sights one can see on the backroads of rural Washington.

Many people now days prefer color photography. With the exception of a few the art of black and white photography has faded. Yes, most everyone sees in color so I understand why they would prefer images in color. As photographers we tend to cater to what the public wants. It helps us sell more. Besides, if the image isn’t in color how are we to enjoy a beautiful spring landscape of wildflowers or the different vivid uniforms of teams during a sporting event? We love that “pop” of color. It draws us in to the image and makes us say “wow”. It also blinds us.

I have to admit, the majority of my galleries are of color images. My preferred style is dramatic landscapes with dynamic lighting and color. But if we strip away all that color, we can really what the image is made of. Many times we don’t see the true essence of an image until we view it in black and white. Without color we now focus on the composition, the light and how it falls on the subject and creates shadows. And what really stands out for me in black and white is the textures and patterns.

So here is my challenge to you: when you look at a black and white image, explore it. Go beyond the surface and see what you feel. Examine it. Let it take you in. Many times the story can be so much richer.

Lower Lewis Falls Black and WhiteLower Lewis Falls Black and WhiteThe Gifford Pinchot National Forrest takes a back seat to the more popular, Columbia Gorge when it comes to waterfalls. That doesn't mean there aren't as many or they aren't as stunning. It is just a little more remote. There are so many great falls and the center piece to all of them, in my opinon, is Lower Lewis River Falls. It goes by many names but it is beautiful no matter what it is called. Trillium Lake Black and WhiteTrillium Lake Black and WhiteSince this is the first time I have been here I could be wrong but I don't think someone can get a bad shot of Trillium Lake. This beautiful lake in the Mount Hood National Forest is the perfect setting to capture the majestic Mount hood. With very little fall color in foliage and nothing from the sunrise I think the shots I took are almost suited better for black and white.Everying from the amazing reflection, the whispy clouds to all the detail that is sometimes overlooked in a color shot. Sometimes simple is better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know you may still love your color photos and feel they offer more than a black and white image would. Still, try viewing several black and white image to notice all the elements in the image. I think you will be surprised. The final images at the end are a comparison of the same composition. One in color and the other in black and white. I really love the story the color image tells but I like the black and white image more. Study both of them for yourself and see what you find.

 

Palouse SentinelPalouse SentinelThere aren't many trees in the Paloluse. I guess that is something that gives it the unique look of miles of rolling hills. The few trees that you see obviously have been around for a long time and some are purposely left alone. This specific tree has many stories to tell. Not far from Steptoe Butte it looks out across the fields. It is a protector of sorts. A guardian. It is refuge for small animals and gives shade to many including farmers taking a break from a long hot day of working the fields. The one branch almost seems to curve and wrap over the Palouse as if it is telling it, "I am here to protect you, I am the Palouse Sentinel". Palouse Sentinel - Black and WhitePalouse Sentinel - Black and WhiteThere aren't many trees in the Palouse. I guess that is something that gives it the unique look of miles of rolling hills. The few trees that you see obviously have been around for a long time and some are purposely left alone. This specific tree has many stories to tell. Not far from Steptoe Butte it looks out across the fields. It is a protector of sorts. A gaurdian. It is refuge for small animals and gives shade to many including farmers taking a break from a long hot day of working the fields. The one branch almost seems to curve and wrap over the Palouse as if it is telling it, "I am here to protect you, I am the Palouse Sentinel".

I offer a variety of landscape, nature and wildlife images and fine art digital paintings. I also have many agricultural, farming and countryside images as well. Most of my work is from around the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, British Columbia, and Alberta. Please look through my galleries or visit my website to view my full portfolio.

All of my work is original and copyrighted. The watermarks will not be on your final print. Thank you for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Mark kiver Photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hint:click on the image to open in it in a larger version to enhance your viewing experience.

 

Please feel free to leave comments. I also encourage you to join my email list and visit and follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I post my latest work. All of my images are available for purchase on this site and at Fine Art America.

 

 

 

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Comments

Mark Kiver Photography
Thanks Tami, I appreciate your comments. I understand what you are saying about realizing why you like B&W images. Color can be such a distraction, for example, an image with a colorful sunset can draw you in but take out the color and is there any substance to the photo( good subject matter, composition, etc. ) I still find myself getting pulled into a scene by the colors first. I can get so hypnotized that when I get home to review my images I realize that I didn't focus and getting better elements into the image to go along with the amazing color. Thanks again Tami and I loved your viewpoint!
Tami(non-registered)
Mark,

You know I love your work! I don't think I've seen anything yet that I don't like! But.....yup, there's a but.....Now after reading what you wrote here, I love your passion for your work, your words made me look at what you were saying, which I then took and looked at the b/w photos you posted(which I hate to call photos, because they are so much more than that), and you know what? Your right! I've always like b/w, I had some taken at my wedding 22years ago, and of my kids as they grew, we used a lot of color, but our favorites are the black and white ones. Now I know why!! You see so much more with the b/w, you're not distracted by the color, you actually SEE the subject, unbiased and in its true form!
Thank you Mark!! You are awesome with words and at finding beautiful images that capture ones attention!!
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