In my advancing years, I am now 70, I have found myself rediscovering the past. I suppose that’s because the past is a bit clearer in my aging eyes than the future. Included in this retrogression, is a renewed interest in black and white photography. I’ve had momentary monochrome lapses from time to time over the years, shooting up rolls of Tri-X (yes it is still sold and processed) with my trusty Nikon F-3 and F-100 cameras and I was pleased I still had the knack of spotting nuanced tones and reading light which is critical in black and white work.
Lately, I’ve been processing more and more of my coastal and rural landscapes in Monochrome with my D800E and D600 cameras. This past week, I put about a dozen on my web site and was amazed at the interest. The shot above was taken with my D600 using a 18-35mm lens along the barrier dunes on the Outer Banks of NC. I think I’m on to something. Again. Thanks for the look and the read. See you next time.
I came across this while reviewing files on one of my external drives. I don’t post many black and whites on the blog because most people prefer color but I think monochrome does amplify tones and contrast that often are smothered by color and represents a nice change of pace.
This was shot on the beach either at Kitty Hawk or Southern Shores (there’s no sign when going from one locality to another on the beach) in December of 2012. I remember having purchased a couple of rolls of Kodak Tri-X 400 to take with me that weekend to scratch a persistent itch I had been having to shoot some film. I shot it with my Nikon F-100 which along with my old Nikon F3 is probably among the best made cameras I have ever owned. The lens was a 20mm prime. As it turned out, the first day was quite quite overcast with the cloud layer stretching down the beach to infinity. Black and white turned out to be the perfect vehicle for the day.
There was a time when one could buy 35mm film routinely in drug stores. No more but the big photo stores on line still sell it along with processing mailers. Remember those.
I apologize for the spotty posts of late but have been very busy which on my side of it, is not a bad thing. Have a great evening.
As I was processing this image (click on the shot for the large view) of boaters on the Currituck Sound just off Duck on the Outer Banks, I kept thinking of a wedding floral shoot I had done some years ago at River Dunes, an upscale development on the coast of Pamlico Sound not far from the town of Oriental in Pamlico County. The wedding reception was to be held in the River Dunes Club House, a very new but rustic space. The dining area which was being decorated for the reception was on the second floor. As I made my way up the stairs with my gear, there, near the entrance was a display of 3 maybe four very large monochrome prints in sepia tones of the classic 1930’s J Class Yachts of America’s Cup Fame. I was captivated by the yachts, of course but also by the vintage tone of the prints. Was it an option for this shot of the sound?
My shot of the boaters on the sound was originally a color shot taken with a Nikon D600. I remember toying with the idea of shooting it with my F-100 which was in my bag and loaded with a fresh 36 shot roll of Kodak Tri-X 400 black and whiite film (yes, it’s still being made). I wish I had but the blue tones in the scene won me over and I shot it in color. Back at the computer, I knew straight away the blue hues in the image were not enough to carry the shot so I processed it as a black and white image then added the sepia layer. I decided to put it on my flickr site for my fellow photography pals to mull over. Peter, a longtime professional shooter who now lives in Australia and for whom I have enormous respect, wrote: “This is the kind of image people want on their walls John,” adding, “More Please”. Thanks Peter. Back in my news days, the axiom was that anyone who enjoyed their own work had a problem, like a comedian laughing at his own jokes. But I have to confess, I like the shot. In fact, I’m already having it printed for my wall. I’ll find a spot. Thanks for the look and have a great week ahead.