I am a big fan of Eric Clapton, especially of his later years where he returned to his blues roots. I recall his “From the Cradle” CD where he really went back to the blues in a strong way. Not
sure why I am attracted to the blues but always have been as long as I can remember. What has this got to do with this post? Well, many years ago as I got started in photography I, like many others, experimented with black and white. Over the years I progressed through several camera formats, including 4×5 large format, with a basement darkroom. I would study the works of Ansel Adams and John Sexton and others. Studying Ansel’s zone system and using a modified Pentax spot meter is how I really learned exposure. This is one reason, even today, my primary camera mode is “manual” with spot metering.
While over time I came to shoot both color and black and white, I eventually began to shoot only color. Lately however, I find myself struggling with a desire to return to my earlier days of the monochrome capture. Every time I see a well done monochrome image I become increasing conflicted internally on a path forward personally. Why not just do both you ask? Good question. I really love it when I capture a beautiful color image with magical light. But the images don’t seem to have the same lasting power. A well done black and white print is not only beautiful but seems timeless. I also find that, for me anyway, I have to place myself in a monochrome mindset. It is a whole different way of seeing. Hard to do both.
Anyway, I made a promise to myself that the coming year I would refocus, return to my roots so to speak, and shoot monochrome for any personal work. While I will of course shoot some color in support of several workshops I conduct, personal work will be monochrome. It will be interesting to see my work by year’s end.