When I took a color photography class thirty years ago in San Diego, the teacher gave me some great lessons. There were creative epiphanies with lasting insight, especially regarding color vs. monochrome photography. He said something like “if a color photograph is not about the color(s) in it, then just make a black-and-white photograph!” That’s no doubt horribly paraphrased, since I have no idea what a professor actually said thirty years ago, but that’s the main lesson I took away from the class.
Ever since that class, I shoot in color (film or digital) when color makes the image, and shoot (or edit) in monochrome (film or digital) when the image is more about textures, patterns, shadows, and contrasts. Of course, there are all kinds of colors — not just saturated colors that POP or colors for colors’ sake — there is beauty and power in soft, muted tones and subtle color variations. But sometimes I just see something in monochrome so I capture and distill it down to grayscale for raw, simplified content and emotion. Black-and-white photographs are the essence of of things — their structures and shapes.
Today’s post is two monochrome images:
- Rushing water from the cove as the tide rushes into the estuary.
- A curved shoreline by the mouth of the estuary at dusk.
Camera: iPhone 11pro
Editing: Hipstamatic app
Photographer: Russ Murray aka “remages”
Location: Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT
Here’s a TIkTok video of the first photo (with music), posted to one of my profiles:
See you tomorrow…