Today, I thought I would post a picture of some beautiful cat tails that I stumbled upon in the early spring last year. The late afternoon sun was hitting them just right with a beautiful golden light. I’m not sure what made me try to convert the image to black and white, but when I did…Wow did it pop!! All the areas where the sun was hitting the reeds was suddenly in sharp contrast to the underbrush and surrounding trees. If you’ve never heard of the term “happy accident” here might be a great example of one that really made my day.
I’ve read several books on black and white, aka Monochrome, and almost every one of them talks about “seeing” in black and white. It’s a painful admission to make, but I must admit, I do not see in black and white. I’ve read all that stuff about studying form, and recognizing contrast within a scene, and I guess it’s just one of those gifts that some people have, and others, like me, read about. I often take a picture with the desire to convert it later, only to find when I do, that it simply doesn’t work. Some, like the picture above, really take me by surprise. I have long admired the work of Ansel Adams, he is a hero to me. His calendar adorns a wall in my office every year. His ability to use previsualization of a scene, and then to capture it using the zone system as an exposure guide, is a talent that borders on clairvoyance. It is a skill I have chased for more years than I am willing to admit to. I have not gotten there yet, but I will not give up the chase. Even if it takes the rest of my life. Of course, for me, this is a hobby, so in some ways that is a wonderful prospect to consider.
All the best, and Happy Valentines Day!!