If black and white conversion is easy, you are probably doing it wrong

The Cowboy

Black and White Photography

I recently ran across this comment on a discussion thread about black and white photography in the days of digital cameras “these days all you have to do is hit a button”.

Black and white photography
Vintage Old Chevy Classic Black And White Canvas Print by Edward Fielding

Sorry, folks but if all you are doing to create a black and white photograph is clicking a button, you doing it wrong.  Unless you spend time with your image, massaging out all that it can be, you are simply creating a snapshot.

Texas farm barn and silo
Texas farm barn and silo https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/texas-silo-and-farm-house-edward-fielding.html

Black and white photography has such a potential for drama, excitement and storytelling among the highlights, shadows and mid-tones.  There are so many elements at your disposal to tweak out greatness for what might be otherwise ho hum.

Old Typewriter Black And White Low Key Fine Art Photography Framed Print
Old Typewriter Black And White Low Key Fine Art Photography Framed Print

Contrast, exposure, tonal range, vignetting, filters for red, green, blue, dodging and burning and vignettes to name a few.  Losing the color information is just the start even before the color is lost the image can be controlled and developed using the color information.

Pushing the “convert to black and white” button in software is the modern day equivalent of sending black and white film off to Fotomat, which then sends back an envelope of dull photographs all processed the same.  Why? Because the equipment is all calibrated to produce a mid-tone for white skin.  The result is dull prints that provoke no emotion or excitement.

There is no reason not to approach black and white digital photography with all the seriousness and intent shown in the past by the great photographers and their darkroom team such as demonstrated in this marked up photograph of James Dean.  Notice how much thought, care, technique and strategy went in to the creating the final image.

Marked Up Photographs Show How Iconic Prints Were Edited in the Darkroom
The comparison images above show photographer Dennis Stock’s iconic portrait of James Dean in Times Square. The test print on the left shows all the work Inirio put into making the final photo look the way it does. The lines and circles you see reveal Inirio’s strategies for dodging and burning the image under the enlarger, with numbers scattered throughout the image to note different exposure times. https://petapixel.com/2013/09/12/marked-photographs-show-iconic-prints-edited-darkroom/

 

Resources:

A Guide to Black and White Conversion in Photoshop

Black and White Vs. Color in Selling Products

Old Typewriter Black And White Low Key Fine Art Photography Framed Print

Photographers have long known that black and white photography is more about the content of the image as opposed to color photography which tends to be more about, the color.   Color photography is style, mood and well, the color where as black and white photography strips the subject down to its essence and allows one to explore the images content.

This is why street photographers prefer the black and white format.  They want the view to focus on the content of the image and not be distracted by color.

Black and white photography has also been considered the more “serious” format as color photography is associated with commercials and family portraits taken at the mall.

“In the ’70s, in Britain, if you were going to do serious photography, you were obliged to work in black-and-white. Color was the palette of commercial photography and snapshot photography.”  – Martin Parr

So photographers knew the power of black and white photography was in its ability to focus the viewer on the intended content of the image and to take the image more serious.  Now a new study on the use of black and white photographs to sell products concurs with this sentiment.

“Black-and-white images can lead consumers to focus on the abstract, essential, and defining components of a product. In contrast, color images can draw attention to the concrete, sometimes unimportant and idiosyncratic features of the product,” write authors Hyojin Lee, Xiaoyan Deng, H. Rao Unnava, and Kentaro Fujita (all The Ohio State University).

Consumers should be aware that colorful, flashy advertising can distract us from thinking about basic product features (a car with high fuel efficiency) and lead us to pay more for products with frivolous or unnecessary features (a car with nice cup holders).

 

“Color has become dominant in marketing because it attracts attention and promotes favorable attitudes. However, there may be times when companies might prefer to use black-and-white advertising. If a product’s primary features are superior, companies can successfully promote the product by using black-and-white images. On the other hand, if a product’s secondary features are superior, companies should consider using color images to draw attention to these otherwise easily overlooked features,” the authors conclude.

Hyojin Lee, Xiaoyan Deng, H. Rao Unnava, and Kentaro Fujita. “Monochrome Forests and Colorful Trees: The Effect of Black-and-White versus Color Imagery on Construal Level.” Journal of Consumer Research: December 2014.

Recently Sold: Typewriter Triptych

Old Typewriter Black And White Low Key Fine Art Photography Framed Print

Art PrintsArt PrintsPhotography Prints

A TRIPTYCH is a set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.

I created this triptych from three separate photographs of a vintage typewriter. The result of hanging these three images side by side on a wall is stunning especially with three large canvas prints.  Although three framed and matted pieces would also look rather cool.

I also offer other fine art photographs featuring this fine old machine that I own – a classic vintage Woodstock metal antique typewriter, like this poster made from fragments of the typewriter – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/1-vintage-typewriter-edward-fielding.html

Vintage Typewriter fine art photograph by Edward M. Fielding
Vintage Typewriter fine art photograph by Edward M. Fielding –

Or this more story telling still life image create with the author and writing process in mind.

Vintage Typewriter photograph by Edward M. Fielding
Vintage Typewriter photograph by Edward M. Fielding – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/vintage-manual-typewriter-edward-fielding.html

 

A typewriter is a mechanical or electro mechanical device with keys that, when pressed, cause characters to be printed on a medium, usually paper. Typically one character is printed for keypress, and the machine prints the characters by making ink impressions of type elements similar to the sorts used in movable type letterpress printing.

Art Prints

After their invention in the 1860s, typewriters quickly became indispensable tools for practically all writing other than personal correspondence. They were widely used by professional writers, in offices, and for business correspondence in private homes. By the end of the 1980s, word processors and personal computers had largely displaced typewriters in most of these uses.

 

Old Typewriter Black And White Low Key Fine Art Photography Framed Print
Old Typewriter Black And White Low Key Fine Art Photography Framed Print – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/old-typewriter-black-and-white-low-key-fine-art-photography-edward-fielding.html

The above “low key” photograph creates a sense of drama by taking an already dark object, the black painted vintage typewriter, and puts it in a dark room with lighting that highlights the sliver keys and white accents.

Low-key photography is a genre of photography consisting in shooting dark-colored scenes, and emphasizing natural or artificial light only on specific areas in the frame. This photographic style is usually used to create a mysterious atmosphere that only suggests various shapes, often graphic, letting the viewer experience the photograph through subjective interpretation.

You can see all of my typewriter inspired fine art photography here – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/type

Fine Art Photographs of Vermont Cows for Sale as Prints

Black and white photograph of a cow

Fine Art Photographs of Cows – I recently found myself in Stowe, Vermont for a rainy afternoon. My wife had a conference at the Spruce Lodge and I had the afternoon free. Fall foliage had already come and gone with the last leaves being ripped off by a breezy, stormy day. But I was determined to get out and photograph the beautiful country side around Stowe which includes many fine family farms.

Vintage tractor
Vintage Tractor on a farm

I came across a herd of dairy cows gathering near the farm gate, hoping that it was getting close to milking time. One cow in particular caught my eye and I was able to capture a few nice portraits.

Managing to keep my gear dry and shooting wide open in the dark and gloomy late afternoon cloudy sky, I manage to capture this sweet face in the pasture.

Dairy Cow Stowe Vermont
Dairy Cow Stowe Vermont by Edward M. Fielding

This is a Jersey cow or cattle are a small breed of dairy cattle. Originally bred in the Channel Island of Jersey, the breed is popular for the high butterfat content of its milk and the lower maintenance costs attending its lower body-weight, as well as its genial disposition.

They look a lot different than the type of cow typically raised for beef such as this fine fellow below seen on a small micro farm in Etna, New Hampshire.

Cow portrait by Edward M. Fielding
Beef Cow portrait by Edward M. Fielding

These cow portraits in black and white can be found in the extensive portfolios of fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding.  Fine art photographs of cows and farms in New England are available as prints, museum quality framed art, canvas prints, wood prints and more as well as on products such as tote bags and decor items such as throw pillows.

Cow – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/cow

Farm – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/farm

Tractors – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/tractor

Vermont – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/vermont


Art Prints

Keywords – cows, Cows, cow, dairy, cattle, livestock, New England, Stowe, Vermont, black, white, photo, photographs, image, art, artwork, fine art, portrait, animal, milk, farming, rural, agricultural, modern farmhouse, country

Photography PrintsSell Art OnlinePhotography PrintsSell Art OnlinePhotography PrintsPhotography PrintsArt Printsvermont art for salecow art for sale

Moonrise over Airstream

Moonrise Over Airstream trailer

Moonrise Over Airstream by Edward M. Fielding is a popular fine art photograph of a classic old Airstream travel trailer light by the light of a beautiful full moon.

Moonrise Over Airstream is a tongue in cheek reference to Ansel Adams famous photograph, “Moonrise Over Hernandez” .  Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico is a black and white photograph taken by Ansel Adams, late in the afternoon on November 1, 1941, from a shoulder of U.S. Route 84-285.

Moonrise Over Airstream of a vintage Airstream camper was taken on the streets of Bozeman, Montana by fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding.

This photograph is available for purchase as a print for framing locally or as a museum quality matted and framed finished work, canvas prints, acrylic prints, metal prints, wood print, cards or on products such as throw pillows and tote bags. A number of other Airstream photographs can be found in Fielding’s portfolio of over 5,000 fine are photographs, designs, artwork, paintings and graphic images including the following camper related art.

Also available:

Photography PrintsArt PrintsSell Art OnlineArt PrintsArt PrintsPhotography PrintsSell Art OnlineArt Prints

File under: Airstream, trailer, RV, travel, camp, camping, camper, traveling, vintage, old, classic, shiny, decor, art, photography, gift, prints, canvas, framed, art, artwork, collector, print, wood, tote bag, greeting card, throw pillow, fan page, Christmas gift, birthday gift, restore, project, new, dealer, inventory, manufacturer, Ohio.

Airstream is an American brand of Travel trailers (“caravans” in British English) which are easily recognized by the distinctive shape of their rounded and polished aluminum coachwork. This body shape dates back to the 1930s and is based on designs created by Hawley Bowlus, who had earlier overseen construction of Charles Lindbergh’s aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis.

Airstream trailers and recreational vehicles are manufactured in Jackson Center, Ohio, USA. The company, now a division of Thor Industries, employs more than 800 people, and is the oldest in the industry.

Meet one of my neighbors!

Cow portrait by Edward M. Fielding
Cow portrait by Edward M. Fielding
Cow portrait by Edward M. Fielding

Meet one of my neighbors!  I managed to get this great shot of a beautiful cow when it came over to investigate my little westie dog Tiki. Tiki thinks cows and deer and just about anything with four legs is a big dog that needs to be barked at but these gentle cows just liked to come over and investigate.

See more cow photographs here:
https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/cow