The next two essays will be a bit of a departure from the photos I've been showing you
for the last year. Instead of living color, they are all in black and white and
the range of grays between.
I've always admired the black and white landscape photos for which Ansel
Adams is famous. I'm obviously no Ansel Adams. In fact, I've rarely ever used black
and white film in my life. I like to work with color too much.
But as I was uploading all the cloud photos the last couple of weeks I
realized there was enough contrast in some of them to look cool in black and white.
Digital "film" takes the hard work out of photo processing in the 21st Century.
Now it's easy to de-saturate a photo or apply other special effects to it, from
subtle to wild.
"I've been 40 years discovering that the queen of all colors was black." - Auguste Renoir
Choosing original views and subjects - or color photos you already have on your computer,
as I did - with enough light-to-dark contrast is the trick to
getting good black and white photos. You have to "see" gradations of tones
instead of the various tints when looking at a view, subject, or color photo.
Not all the shots I thought would look good in black and white do look
good that way, but it's fun to play with our photo-editing software. I plan to
do more special effects on our photos in upcoming essays.
Adams took most of his dramatic panoramas in the western states, "Big Sky"
country. Although there aren't as many grand vistas in the East, you can
still find grandeur there, as I hope some of our photos demonstrate. This
has been so much fun, I'm including TWO essays' worth of photos!
I've already shown all of these cloud photos in color somewhere in the
journal. Now let's see what some of
them look like de-saturated . . .
. . . AKA "Fun with Photoshop!"
NORTH CAROLINA & TENNESSEE SKY DRAMA:
VIRGINIA & WEST VIRGINIA CLOUDS:
CLOUDS OVER PENNSYLVANIA:
SKY DRAMA OVER NEW JERSEY & NEW YORK: (including
the one at the very top of this page)
MASSACHUSETTS & VERMONT CLOUDS:
Next up: more B & W cloud drama in New Hampshire and Maine.