It's all in your head: Visualization in black-and-white

March 12, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

A view of the eastern Sierra foothills, from Owens Valley, California.

An ancient bristlecone pine tree appears to reach toward the clouds in the White Mountains of California. The black-and-white photograph is a classic way to view our environment. Compositions are distilled to their basic elements of light and shadow. In the days of film photography, we loaded our cameras with black-and-white film, and got used to the idea of previewing our monochromatic scenes in our heads while shooting. Working digitally, the option to make an image black-and-white has most often become a post process choice. While it is wonderful to have more creative options available for processing photos, something is lost from the immediacy of making decisions at the time of actually taking the picture. When I am out shooting landscapes, I try to keep in mind the possibility of black-and-white, imagining how a scene would look in it's most elemental photographic form.


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