©2009 Tom Haymes
I really liked the texture in the worn wood of this odd-looking sculpture in front of the Brazos Valley Center in Bryan, Texas. I was there for the Lone Star Art Guild Show.
It’s a funny thing about black-and-whites. Typically, only other photographers appreciate them. I never have much luck with them in non-photographer-judged shows, like the LSAG (which is judged by painters). I also don’t sell many of them (except to other photographers).
A lot of subtlety goes into making an effective black-and-white and many non-practitioners assume that since you don’t have to fiddle with color, it’s easier to do a black-and-white. Actually, it’s usually the other way around. Color pictures (at least for me) tend to work right out of the camera, so to speak. Black-and-white requires you to make two leaps in your pre-visualization process. First, you have to imagine how the image is going to translate from 3-D to 2-D and then you have to visualize the effect of translating from the color reality to black-and-white. It also helps to have some understanding of the filter options and how they will change the look of your black-and-white shot. One of the nice things about Fred Miranda’s B&W Workflow Pro is that it allows you to play with a set of traditional black-and-white filters after the fact in PhotoShop (something that wasn’t possible in the old days).
However, I find that if I don’t get the pre-visualization right in the first place, no amount of messing around in PhotoShop will save the image. In this case, I saw the Red Filter all the way through as a way of distinguishing the sculpture from the somewhat washed out sky in the background and as a way of popping the clouds to complete the contrast of the image.