“Failing is assumed. It’s our best, and most faithful, teacher. That doesn’t mean, of course, that it doesn’t hurt like hell, our pride especially smarts from this”
David duChemin, A Beautiful Anarchy
I have been experimenting/learning/failing at doing Black and White photography over the last year or so. I have been very reluctant to post images for fear – nasty word – of the feedback I will receive or not receive. Ahh the deafening silence. After reading the above book, written by a Vancouver-based photographer that I greatly admire I realized that the person I am protecting, me, needs to stick his out and see what response comes from these initial attempts. After what seemed, at the time, a crushing rejection from a local gallery it has taken me some time to rethink the gift that I was given by them and to try once again.
“Do not fear mistakes, there are none,”
When I was growing up it was a treat to go to the Rexall Drug store and pick up a small packet of black and white images – about 2×2 with deckle edges. Remember? Black and White was the norm and it was only with the development of good color film and relatively easy processing that color became the standard. Now it seems as it Black and White images only gambol about in the rarefied realm of ART!! Yikes!!
I must thank Dave Hill for loaning me a Canon film camera and it has been constantly loaded with Black and White film (Ilford and Kodak). It has been a joy to use. I love the sound of the mirror flying up, the shutter opening and the movement of the film as it winds to the next frame. Granted it is a bit more advanced technically than my old Canon F1 and the product is amazing – clean and finely detailed images.
I have learned that Black and White photography is not just the absence of color. There is a way of composing images that requires one to think and see in Black and White. You don’t have the gorgeous colors to make the image pop thus the way things are composed/positioned in the image and the gradation from black thru numerous shades of gray to white is what makes it all work – or not!!
So – directed to me! “Suck it up, Buttercup” and put them out there. Here are a few images that I have been working on. They are mostly local and all taken with film and if you click on the images to get a larger view I think it is better. The first one was from a morning drive on Spencers Butte.
These next 3 were all taken on River Road north of town when a ‘sucker hole’ opened in an afternoon storm front.