Saturday, February 5, 2011

Black & White +/- Red

My blog friend Richard of At the Water has been experimenting lately with black and white photography. He has spent time exploring an explanation he read on a photography site that said that color is shot for contrast while black and white is shot for form.

Below are two versions of the same photo of a red-bellied woodpecker at our suet feeder today. (By the way, he has returned often enough that I no longer think he only comes when it's bitterly cold. I think we're on his regular route now, which delights me.) 

I am interested in how differently my eye chooses to focus in the two photos.

In the color version, above, I can't keep my eyes off the brilliant red-orange head. I'm also drawn to the texture of the suet, which is studded with corn and seeds which are not very noticeable below.

In this photo, my eyes want to explore the black-and-white pattern on his back and the soft downiness of his breast fuzz. With the light color of the background almost stripped away in this version, the shape of the bird becomes a more significant element of the photo.

1 comment:

Richard said...

This is one bird that just doesn't come out very will in black and white. I've tried dozens of shots and deleted every one of them because the colors just blend together when there isn't color. Good example of color vs. form.