Using B&W To Grab Your Viewers By The Throat…


Yes, deep moody B&W can capture and hold your attention!

Pawleys Island Marsh, North Causeway

I am always curious as to what people like and dislike about my images and make a point of posting them online to see what people think and how they respond.  Sometimes the result of this practice really surprises me.  The funny thing is that most of my personal favorites in B&W are not well received by the public!  Yet those that I consider not as good get better reviews…

It does not matter what camera I choose to create with, Medium Format FIlm (Mamiya 645 AFDii) or digital (Fuji GFX 50r medium format), the output results are difficult to tell apart. I love working in film, its process from end to end defines art to me.  But I also love working in medium format digital as well.  It is a much shortened and simpler  process and only takes a fraction of the time when compared to film.  I think most of you will be hard pressed to pick the film/digital images that I am going to place in this post! So the source of the images make little difference to me.

Approaching Storm at Pawleys Island

Have you ever considered what it is about B&W photography that you are attracted to?  What about it grabs you?   For me, it is simple, the removal of color strips the scene to it soul allowing you to really become one with it.  It removes the confusion and gives a pure view of the scene!

Consider the image of the approaching storm above.  The clarity of the image draws me into the scene, the sharpness captures my interest and holds it.   The dark moody tones make me feel like I am still standing right there!

Pawleys Island Beach Crossover in the fog.

I am not saying color work is bad, rather that I personally enjoy working in monochrome and enjoying the finished images processed in B&W much more that color work.   I suppose that is why working in film is so addicting to me, everything about the process from working behind the camera, film processing, scanning and printing I find very enjoyable.  But with the introduction of the Fuji GFX 50R camera system I am equally thrilled!  You can shoot in both color and B&W on the fuji system. The real difference is that you can set it up with film emulation profiles in camera and generate and output true B&W RAW images!  I find that I like using the Acros/red profile in camera because it matches my film work with actual Acros film!   This gives me another entire workflow that matches my B&W film work 1:1! The fog image above in a good example of the ethereal nature that you can achieve when working in B&W.

Charlee Marie

The image above if Charlee Marie highlights this relationship between working with medium format Acros film and the medium format Fuji GFX 50r camera system.   The amazing tonality of the boat and sky capture my attention and will not let it go.  The subtle tonality of the wheel house is flawless.  Overall this is one of my favorite images produced by the 50R, capturing the heart and soul of the shrimp boat in a non cluttered fashion usually associated with them on the easy to use medium format digital 50R!  This particular image is one of my favorites from the 50R that has not been well received by the public, yet I cannot let it go…

Port Royal Shrimpers

The Port Royal Shrimpers is an example of everything coming together for a powerful image; Good Light, Clouds, Boats and reflective water plus being there!  Of all the images captured with the 50R this one has the highest number of likes and comments online.  Yes it is a powerful moody image but I am not sure if I personally like it more than the image above!

Daddys Girls, medium format Acros film

OK, on last image of Daddys Girls was taken last week on Acros Film on my 645 AFDII  using a deep red contrast filter so the sky is a little darker.  To me this is a powerful image and different from the digital work above it due to the deep red filter.  Yet all other aspects of the image match equally to the work generated on the 50R system.   

To me, this illustrates how well the film and digital systems can work together.  There are times when working in film is just not possible or practical during travel where the 50R would work much better and easier.

I am happy that each camera system can complement each other so closely!  It will make my life much easier and allow me to concentrate on creating art rather than on how I capture it!

 

As always please let me know what you think, I value your input!

 

 

 

 

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Willy and the Pelican


A Lesson On Life!

 

WIlly and the Pelican.. Southport, NC

 
I discovered Willy (his first name is Wet) at Fishy Fishy on the marsh front in Southport while Jamie Konarski Davidson and I were there last weekend and kindly asked the pelican flying overhead to land on Willy. He said that Willy was to small and his landing there would make Willy rock and ruin my shot so he landed on the larger boat then struck a pose for me. A really considerate bird that Pelican was! The scene was busy yet pleasing to me so I sat and talked to the Pelican (they are so chatty) for a bit while I shot the roll of film!
 
When I was done and started to leave the pelican squawked in his deep male pelican dialect “ what about compensation for pulling this scene together for you?” So i asked the fish monger behind me for a pelican sized payment and gave it to my birdie friend who promptly grabbed it and flew away without a word! I lowered my head in disappointment knowing that I should not have been hurt as all of the creatures live and die in the entitlement mentality! Oh well…

So… Here is Willy and the Pelican!

Willy and the Pelican

This was done with my Mamiya 645AFDii and a 45mm lens using FP4+ film processed in Xtol stock in my Filmomat processor,  then wet mount scanned. Full data is below:
 
BTW, WIlly says he is looking forward to seeing all of you who are coming to the workshop there at the end of September!
 
645 AFD2 – 45mm – Roll 93 Fr 7 – 1_60 f11 – Orange Filter – Willy and the Pelican- FP4 125 – Xtol Stock – Filmomat – D-CI 55- – Scan Exp Lock – Wet Mount – 2018-08-25