I spend my fair share of time on Facebook and try to keep my activity minimal, with a few posts of new work and events. Facebook is a great way to keep in touch, but I find myself wasting a lot of time just getting trough all the posts, most of which are totally useless. My high school friend photo-journalist Bruce Lipsky invited me to participate in the Facebook Black and White Challenge, which was making its way around. This challenge asks for 5 B&W images posted on separate days, with an invitation to 5 other photographers to continue the chain. I decided to oblige. I went through my archives to pull 5 different images from various projects. Most of my work is color so it wasn't too difficult to isolate 5 images. I do enjoy working in B&W because of the simplicity and directness of the result. In many ways it is more abstract than color because one dimension of realism has been removed. This allows the artist to insert their own dimension. I find that the fundamental concepts of composition, form, contrast, and metaphor are greatly enhanced. Here are the 5 images I chose to post.
"Structured Harmony" - Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco CA 2011 - B&W Challenge #1. This photograph should be easily recognizable as one of the most photographed bridges in the world. I wanted to create a different view emphasizing the cable structure and it's relation to music, without the distraction of color, which is very distinctive for this bridge.
"Open Hearts and Hands" - Art Walk August 2011 at Main Street Park, Jacksonville FL. B&W challenge #2. Hearts and hands are symbols of love and friendship. This was a last minute shot of some children behind artist David Montgomery's projection screen after I instructed them to do something. I love to be surprised!
"Luminous Morning" - Jax Beach Pier, Jacksonville Beach FL, Dec 2011. B&W Challenge #3. Sometimes there is a special luminosity in B&W photos that surpasses anything in color. Glowing radiance or muted softness is best expressed in monochrome. I seldom venture out to the beach and on this rare visit I was rewarded with clouds and light.
"Driftwood Tangles" - Big Talbot Island, Jacksonville FL 2009. B&W Challenge #4. The "Boneyard" at Big Talbot is a favorite spot whenever I'm in the mood for studying the raw textures and forms of the fallen oaks that line the shore. It's hard to capture a successful image as everything begins to look the same. These studies are ideally suited for B&W because they are largely devoid of color. One can focus on dimensionality and gesture in the branches and try to make some sense out of the rubble. This scene reminded me of the complexities in nature and of our own lives and how eventually everything is reduced to drifting bones of wood along the beach.
"Dock Alphabet" - near Gulf Shores AL, 2011. B&W Challenge #5. Evidence of Hurricane Katrina's devastation in 2005 remain to this day. On a 2011 New Orleans road trip with Bill Yates, we found this to be a common scene. The arrangement looked like Kanji characters but I found no translation. It sorta speaks for itself.