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  1. #1

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    Colour vs Black and White. Does Your Output of Each Change With the Seasons?

    NB: I had intended to start this thread earlier, but just never got around to doing so.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post (one on photographic output, if memory serves), I have been in the habit, over the years, of saving a disproportionate amount (call it a backlog, if you will) of my darkroom work for the "rainy season" (i.e. late-October to early-April, here on the Left Coast). Returning from the Calgary Stampede several weeks ago, I did as per usual, separating my exposed colour film from my black and white, double zip-lock bagging each and placing both in the deep-freeze. It was then I noticed something unusual (at least I found it unusual): there is something of a seasonal bias in my shooting. To wit: Since early May, I have been shooting colour (E100G/VS) to black and white (HP5+/Tri-X) in a ratio of about 4:1; during the winter months, while my productivity drops somewhat, the reverse occurs ( I base this observation of a count of the number of boxes of slides shot last year and the number/dates of PrintFile pages filled). While I am not quite certain as to why, my guess that it is somehow weather related (I do live in the "City on the Edge of the Rainforest"). Certainly it is not for a lack of subject matter begging to be shot in colour - Polar Bear Dips, Chinese New Year, etc. - yet my colour output drops off measurably in the winter months. Do those of you not fortunate enough () to live on the West Coast - who also shoot both colour and black and white - notice the same pattern in your work? If so, any suggestions as to why?
    An assortment of F-series Nikons (F to F6, excluding the F4) with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.

    Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.

  2. #2
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Do you manually process both? If so, does this determination have anything to do with the darkroom aspect: easier to process one in one season as opposed to the other? Or, is there simply more color worth capturing in the warm season as opposed to the colder one? - David Lyga

  3. #3

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    David: My black and white is all home processed; the colour is sent out to a lab (both E6 and the very, very, very small amount of C-41 I currently shoot. In terms of colour worth capturing, that is the $64,000 question. There is always colour worth capturing. My thinking - and this is off the top of my head - is that it is weather-related, perhaps due to shorter days, less intense sunlight, more rain? (as a perhaps curious aside, I tend to do more street photography - black and white - during the winter months)
    An assortment of F-series Nikons (F to F6, excluding the F4) with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.

    Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.

  4. #4
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Maybe, thus, the shadows are more prominent with the waning sunlight of the winter. That just might impart a necessity to focus upon form rather than 'hue beauty'. I cannot speak for you (and many times not even for myself!) but that just might be the answer. Your interpretation of colder weather (and Vancouver, BC, is not tropical) might be just that. - David Lyga

  5. #5

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    All my serious photography is in B&W which I process myself. Color was for family events and processed commercially
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #6
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I find it very hard to "see" in monochrome and colourl at the same time,I've stuck to colour almost excessively for several years.
    Ben

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    November, in Vancouver, is very wet, and not conducive to colour.

    And I'm more likely to want to be in the black and white darkroom outside of the heat of summer.

    So I would agree with you Bradley.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2



 

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