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Tag Archives: gray

I used to really dislike black-and-white photography. I don’t know why. It was boring. Old fashioned. When your thoughts are traveling a million miles a second, the flash and splash of color provide an anticipated sort of framework for shaping your interpretation. Most of it is deliberately placed to highlight a face, a place, a product, a logo. Even though the message may not be immediately clear, it is crisp and controlled. Precise. Designed to capture and provoke a thought.

Recently though, I have been trying to slow down my thought process. Every once in a while, things seem to get too busy. Too chaotic. I lose focus. So I doodle. Usually in pencil. I like the way the graphite seems to absorb itself into the paper with each stroke of the pencil tip. Firmer pressure for a darker crisper line – a finger-tip smudge to add some depth and dimension. When I look back at my creations later, they seem to give back to me the same emotion I was feeling at the time. It’s almost like a tiny bit of myself got absorbed into the paper along with the graphite shadows. I’ve started to see this same depth and dimension in certain black-and-white images.

I never could figure out why they called it “black-and-white”. It’s not. It’s “Shades of Grey”. Without the blaring distraction of glossy color, the photographs seem to offer up the most subtle hint of emotion. Some stronger than others. Crisp contrast blends into subtle silky textures. Instead of boldly declaring it’s message, it whispers. Rather than constructing a thought for you, it invites you to explore the thought it is trying to portray. It’s almost sensual. But you have to slow yourself down enough to hear it. Feel it. Sometimes it is as subtle as a warm breath.