Life in black and white
by Shawna Black
Welcome to a new feature of FTTW: Saturday photography.
Every other Saturday afternoon Shawna will bring you "Film and Developer: The Art of Black and White Photography"
One Saturday a month we will have someone write about digital photography.
On the other Saturday, we will have a themed reader photography submission day. We'll announce the theme on Wednesday or Thursday and you'll send us your pics and we'll have some fun complimenting each other. More details to come on that next week.
If you would like to do a one shot column on digital photography (we'd like to have a different author each week), please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, Shawna's first Film and Developer column.
Black and white. Two of my favorite descriptions of the absence of color and light are black and white. This is especially true in relation to photography. The highlights, the shadows, the shades of gray, all blended together in a way that absolutely fascinates my mind and directs my emotion. For me, seeing a good black and white photograph causes the same feeling that music does in others; stirs an emotion so deep its indescribable. You know, similar to the chills that you get when you hear a person singing who has an awesome voice? Yeah that. Same feeling.
During one of my college photography courses, the class watched a documentary on a photographer named Eva Rubinstein. Rubinstein’s photography gave me chills. She had an incredible way of using light. She used it, seemed to command it, in her photography. A good black and white photograph won’t just look cool to your eye, but will provoke an emotion. During an interview conducted by Frank Horvat, Rubinstein described the difference between a shot she took when she was highly emotional and the same shot she tried to duplicate focusing on the “mechanics”. Quote: “Years ago, after a workshop, I got very powerfully involved with somebody who left at the end of the week, while I stayed on. I took one photograph in the room where we had been, just moments after he left. I was emotionally shaken, I had no tripod there, and made the picture at a quarter of a second, hand-held. A couple of days later I saw on the contacts that, not surprisingly, the image was "soft". So, in a much calmer state of mind, I went back to the same room with my tripod. Everything was the same, the light, the things in the room. The picture I made that day is perfectly sharp - and totally sterile. I have shown both versions to people without saying any of this, and they have invariably preferred the "soft" one. Surely because the sharp one is emotionally empty, there was nothing going on in me except trying to "get it right". (source)
(click for a bigger image)
Shawna writes and shows off her photography at My Opinions are Free
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