Black and White

Black and White

As a photographer and a lover of art, I have always loved looking at a good black and white image.

I like how, sometimes, when you remove the color, the true intent of the image just pops out at you with power.

There is something in the simplicity of a black and white image that makes it feel complex — makes it something you can stare at for hours to find all the details.

At the recent Equine Photographers photography retreat in Wyoming, I felt several of the images come through my lens in black and white — even though they were made in color. That doesn’t happen as much any more – I spend  more time in the colorful realm it seems.

Years ago, I used to buy black and white film to make a black and white image — I had to choose between black and white or color. With digital technology, you get to have both, so the image can tell you how it wants to be seen. Sometimes, I forget to listen. That’s what makes retreats like this one so powerful — you can take the time to really create, listen, feel the images.

Here are some more of the black and whites from this same photo shoot:

Snake River, Wyoming

Snake River, Wyoming

This image was made on August 19, 2013.

Snake River bend is one of the most photographed places on earth. I was very much looking forward to my moment to photograph it. Now, being a photographer, my fantasy was to photograph it sunset as the colors burst across the sky or at sunrise as the light flowed over the water. But, we arrived at 5 pm. Long after the golden hour of sunrise and way before the golden hour of sunset. And we were on a schedule. I had 30 minutes. I was disappointed in myself. I didn’t know when I’d be back.

So I sneaked down the bank of the river, got out my wide angle and appreciated the beauty of the moment I was offered. This image is the result.

I am routinely challenged as a commercial photographer to make art out of the moments I’m offered. In the beginning of my career, this drove me crazy and I fought against it. But was like rowing up a whitewater rapid. So instead, I learned to roll with it — and, as I’ve become mature in my craft, I’ve learned that those moments — the ones I am offered and accept without an attempt to alter them into something more “ideal” — are the moments when I capture some of the most beautiful images.

It is a metaphor for life as well.

If you’re always seeking to create the perfect moment, you will miss the perfect moment you’ve been given.