Monochrome and Americana
Jack Graham, Instructor
November 16-17, 2018 (9am-4pm)
To me there are two types of monochrome photography. One is more documentary and the other uses textures and evoking deep feelings of a fine art print
Why is monochrome (sometimes referred to as Black & White) photography different from color? To many, monochrome delivers a different feeling since our everyday world is made up of colors. In other words monochrome is not our reality.
For many photographer’s color presents a lot of challenges. In many images, the use of monochrome brings out the shapes and textures stronger than color. Perhaps it’s that in many images color can be distracting and taking away the drama of the scene. In monochrome photography, one can adjust the brightness, shadows and contrast to their individual liking, just as we can with color, but the unexpected often is stronger to the viewer. Color evokes emotional responses like monochrome image. We all like different levels of color. At times, these emotional decisions take over the attention of the viewer
We will work on processing monochrome images as well. Eliminating color often allows the shapes and graphic design of the image to be much more dominant. In general, monochrome images are open and more three dimensional, unless the color, texture and more is handled correctly, which is not easily done.
What is hardest for most photographers, but necessary is visualizing the final image. We have so many choices in determining exposure that thinking about how you want the final image to be rendered determine how you initially make the image in the camera. DO you want the sky light or dark? How do you want to render the clouds? How to handle the tonal relationships must be considered. We’ll dwell on this quite extensively.
Often in photography we hear the terms High Key and Low Key. We will discuss and learn to apply these traits which are so important when making monochrome images. We will discover how to use shapes to Alfred Stieglitz said, “Where there is light, there is a photograph”. This is so true. Monochrome images in harsh light can tell a wonderful story. Yes, it’s a bit tougher to make a quality image, even in monochrome than in the soft light of the early mornings and evenings but often it opens up opportunities for some great photography.