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  1. #1
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Beautiful Sunrises Sunsets this week - but I shoot B&W

    Debating what to do...

    I've sort of stopped doing color since maybe four years ago.

    But recent storms have brought some subtle color to the skies in the mornings and evenings. I look at it in minds eye in black and white and shrug.

    B&W seeing should increase my appreciation for nature, not make me feel like "it won't show up so why bother".

    It would be easy enough to put a roll of color in a camera and keep it ready for times like these.

    But then there is a risk that I would "waste" my time shooting in color a scene that would be effective in B&W.

    I know, I know... I wouldn't have even gone out there if the color hadn't drawn me outside in the first place...

    Really, it's OK. I've been in the darkroom so I'm not really being lazy.

  2. #2
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Hey, don't forget using color filters on sunsets/sunrises. You can make certain colors stand out if you use them well with BW.
    K.S. Klain

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of traditionally color subjects in B&W.

    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4
    ROL
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    Do what makes ya happy – only you can decide that.

    As for myself, I'm more than sympathetic, as I have gone through this myself. So here are my feelings, for now:
    • My forte is B/W. I've given up color because of the difficulty and expense of developing and printing myself. I prefer B/W for 95% of what I see, artistically and I can control the process from composition through to printing. That alone is huge for me. Big enough that I now no longer feel as though there is anything to be gained aesthetically by committing a beautiful sunset/sunrise to a color medium. For me, shooting color is a game only worth my efforts when the natural ease of a sunset isn't present. But then I still prefer B/W for the reasons previously stated.
    • There is a great feeling of accomplishment when color can be represented, even bettered, within the pure tonalities of a good hand made B/W print. The game is now afoot.
    • Shooting color sunsets is hackneyed, showing no particular amount of photographic acumen. They can always be spiked in PS and often no one will be the wiser. Yes, there are occasions when, within the 10 minutes of the setting of the last direct light of the day and deepening hues in the sky, that one may feel artistically impotent. I just take solace in the fact that there is nothing I have done with camera or print that is aesthetically better than the hand of nature itself.
    • B/W and color are so totally different disciplines for me now that instead of color film, I'll use a good digital P&S without regret. No worries, it just isn't intended to be fine art anything.
    • Commit the sunsets to memory instead of film.
    Last edited by ROL; 03-21-2012 at 02:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5

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    Wow, David. That's nice. Here in Colorado we have outstanding sunrises in the winter and sunsets in the summer and I've never really thought I could pull off a good B&W capture of it. You have inspired me to try.

  6. #6
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    You should try some monochrome rainbows.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  7. #7
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    No color needed to get the glow of a sunrise!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sunrise Paradise 001.jpg  
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  8. #8
    blansky's Avatar
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    An interesting way to "add the color" is to print with effects like sepia or selenium or other "color" processes.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  9. #9
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    Or, you could just go with it and make a color photograph. What would it hurt?

  10. #10
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Thanks! Great inspiration Thomas, David and ROL. That's exactly what I'm talking about.

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