There's a challenge going around in my corner of Facebook at the moment where someone challenges someone else to create one black and white image a day and to post it on Facebook. The "rules" are "no people and no explanation." Well, here's the explanation.
I took this picture of an agave stalk in 2006 and turned it into this weird color. Today, I'm not sure why! But I wondered how it would look if I converted this blue horror into black and white.
I like the black and white version much better, but going back to the blue version, I noticed how the background was out of focus, but there was a shadow back there that echoed the same angle as the (and I don't know the scientific word for it) thing sticking out on the right.
The lights and darks in the background are interesting, add depth and interest and mystery, yet aren't overly obtrusive.
And then there was the great blue heron landing on a piling in South Carolina. The picture could have been sharper, but I loved the outstretched wing, the beak, the lower legs. They all angle sharply from right to left.
Intuitively I allowed more room in the left two thirds of the photo, room for the concept of horizontal movement to establish itself.
But what about the subtle lack of sharpness? I gave the image a soft, painterly look (lemons/lemonade) and also toned it a warm pinkish color. But would that translate to black and white?
I think it does. It's light, soft, and it keeps me looking. Is it better? I really don't know.
This black and white challenge was indeed challenging. The benefit of participating in it was it encouraged me to look at my (and everyone else's) pictures with new eyes and to experiment. Always a good thing.
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