Robin over at Breezes at Dawn ran a black & white challenge last week that got me thinking about photography in a way I haven’t for several years. At one time I took photographs and developed the film myself, participating in shows once in while. I worked in black and white since the color process had more steps and more chemicals.
Robin was publishing a few black and white photos each day and I looked through some of my pictures to see what I had. What I found out is that I look at things differently when I photograph with black and white film than when I’ve got color on tap.With black and white, you’re looking for line, texture, light, form, shadow.
With color, the whole focus of a picture can change.
In a review of photos, I found a few where there was very little difference between color and black and white.
I only found two where a color photo transformed into a black and white I considered successful. One you’ve already seen.
It’s almost like the difference between a watercolor and an oil. Both are art. Both result in something to look at. Both require different ways of seeing and different visualization techniques, not to mention different brush skills. Which isn’t to say the skills aren’t transferable from one to the other. They’re just specialized.