When to go to your Dark Side

Since I hooked you with the title (you’re reading this after all), I’m not talking about emulating Darth Vader. I am talking about when I feel compelled to go from the seductive world of full on color to the land of monochrome, or  black & white renditions of reality. When the subject I’m shooting (landscape, architecture or portrait), possesses strong graphic qualities of line and light/dark contrast, I morph my vision into that fifty shades of gray world. Not talking here about some mere movie, but about the power of silvery tonality, riveting contrast and sheer drama, if you push it that far. You can create an amalgam of M.C. Escher, Cartier-Bresson and Ansel Adams in your imagery, or go full twilight zone with infrared black skies and deep chasms of contrast. If you infer from this that I love black and white, you’re right on.

Now to some samples:

From the recent Death Valley AHPW workshop – March 2015

From the 2014 AHPW Missions of Santa Fe & Taos

And from White Sands National Monument, the full moon setting at sunrise in the earth shadow.

Convinced? If so, seek your muse and when the elements conspire to explore your dark side, dive in the deep end and try out the various programs which convert your RAW files back into black & white. You may just like that tonier version of yourself…

©2015 All Rights Reserved Kerrick James