World Before Color

Growing up in a Black and White media world from televisions to newspapers, it is no wonder I craved color photography.  I will admit B&W photos are more interesting to me today in a nostalgic kind of way.

Landscapes in black and white bring out textures, lines and composition of a photo without color to blind a viewer’s eye to the photographer’s craft. This view from a bridge over a gorge near the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York needed work once I converted it to black and white.  I added contrast to the overall image and then dodged and burned until I got it just the way I wanted it.  Something Ansel Adams was a master at in the darkroom.  Today, the digital darkroom allows us to work, change and create without having to wait for photos to be developed in chemical vats.

View from a pedestrian bridge near the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York

View from a pedestrian bridge near the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 65mm focal length.

I truly believe Sports photos in black and white show a more gritty and intense emotion. Those Tri-X B&W films were a bit grainy which added to the effect.  With today’s camera sensors, one has to add grain in post-processing.  I choose not to here.

The intensity of the coach’s face gets lost in the color version.  With the background fading to grey, the bright player uniforms can not dominate a viewer’s vision, and the players all leaning in creates a perfect frame to bring out the coach’s facial expression.

Jon Cooper, head coach of the Syracuse Crunch, spurring his team on before an overtime period.

Jon Cooper, head coach of the Syracuse Crunch, spurring his team on before an overtime period.
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/2.8, ISO 4000, EV +1.3, 200mm focal length, cropped.

This is my submission to my blog’s latest assignment on Black and White Photography.  Click the link to see photographer submissions  from all over the world.

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8 Responses to World Before Color

  1. Robin says:

    These are great, Scott. Black & White really makes the second one pop (something I never thought I’d say about B&W!). I think color would take away from it somehow. Be interesting to see it side by side with a color version.

    Like

  2. Giiid says:

    Very nice and dramatically photo of the coach, his face is the interesting story of this photo. I imagine a second version, also focusing on his face but with only a little part of the players visible. Could be interesting to see. Did they win?

    Like

  3. deirdrea says:

    Wow! You are so right about that hockey coach — great photos, and thanks for the assignment (I know I’m too late, but it was fun, anyway)

    Like

  4. Karma says:

    Great emotion is definitely shown in the shot with the coach. Like the landscape shot in my own B/W assignment, I’m pretty sure I would like the color the version better. Thanks again for the assignments!

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  5. Pingback: Assignment 24: Recap | Views Infinitum

  6. Both pictures show different visions of B/W photography, I find. The first one has this nostalgic look that I associate with B/W. The second one is so much better for portraying people, actions, expressions. Just my opinion. Great photos, both. Thanks for another interesting assignment.

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