A Black & White Gallery
This is a straight forward walk through of some of the monochrome images I’ve done since the early 90s. I did this so I could show a group of my photos all in one place. Don’t be surprised if you find some of these images elsewhere on this website.
The photos are arranged in a rough chronological order. It is close to 20 years since some of these were first exposed so I won’t remember everything about the shot. From time to time I do look back at my photos. As I do so I’ll update any thumbnail information and rearrange the photos as necessary.
I add photos or drop photos on occasion. If you like this gallery, please visit it now and then.
I started out with no technical information, but I’ve decided to slowly add the technical information as I can find it. I will also add a little bit of commentary.
Much of the technical information from my film era is forgotten, but a few things that were true for me in the film age are still true in the digital age. Film would have almost always been ISO 50 or 100. Most digital shots are ISO 640. The minimum on my digital camera is 100. The difference from 100 to 640 is 2 & 2/3 stops. I’ve adopted 640 because the difference in electronic noise (almost the same as film grain) is almost unnoticeable, at least to me.
Then or now the camera setting has usually been Aperture Priority. The meter is almost always Evaluative or Matrix. Almost all film shots are with a tripod. Almost all digital shots are handheld, but I’m starting to a tripod more and more for digital photos.
Three things control the digital handheld business. First is the greater speed of 640. Second, the automatic stability feature of the lenses often buys another 2 stops or even 3. Finally, most of my digital shooting has been reactive, not planned. It is “on the run” and “on the opportunity”. Despite the ease of digital handheld it is always better to use a tripod. It slows you down and makes you think. Another thing to think about. As new digital cameras are released they are able to control the digital noise more and more. I’ve seen some cameras that claim their “noise” only begins at ISO 1600 or 3200. If true it will make hand held more prolific.
More introduction. Anything prior to 2010 is from color transparencies or color print film. The very few exceptions to this are noted. Since Aug., 2010 all my photos are digital. For digital I show the image number as applied by my Canon camera and an exact date.
I love black & white, but I have always been a color guy. The world is generally in color. Without trying to be too silly, my eyes reinforce this opinion. That being said, not all photos look best in color. In fact, some color shots are cacophonous, while it seems to me a well done black & white will focus the mind. It is absolutely true that some of my color shots have gained little comment from my audiences, while the same photo switched to monochrome gets raves. I do not propose to explain this, only to mention the dichotomy.
Some of these photos are pretty good. Others are so-so. These photos are not everything I’ve done by any stretch, just the ones I think are interesting enough to show. The comments I get, positive and negative, often differ with my opinion of the quality of the image so I include many photos because different things appeal to different people.
If anything seems to be particularly egregious or poorly done I appreciate all input. This is not a hollow boast. I did the entire page named “A Few Digital Editing Techniques” with about 25 different versions of the same photo because of one email.
Three people appear in the photos below. The first is a Confederate Re-enactor. Without a name I sent a matted print to the Ft. Pulaski Ranger’s office for forwarding. The actor sent me a card of thanks, which I still have buried somewhere. If I recall correctly his name is Kevin Sofa. As a volunteer on a federal reservation I suspect he signed a blanket model release.
The second person, the conductor at the Sierra Railway, was a fellow named Bob Davis. His daughter contacted me in September, 2012 & told me he abruptly passed away a few weeks earlier. She also told me as an volunteer or employee for the Railway he signed a blanket model release.
The third person is in photo 4060. I am the witness in the title of the photo.
Rather than write anything more, here is the gallery.
Old Bristlecone Pine at Shulman Grove, White Mountains, CA., 9-15-94. I expect to eventually post my color shot. Stephen W. Oachs has a phenomenal color night time photo of this same tree with star trails in the sky. It is found at http://www.stephenoachs.com/gallery-landscape.php.
0604 – Red Rock Canyon State Park, Oct-15-2010. Shot from about the same spot as the black & white transparency shown way above, but 15 years later & with a digital camera. The film version is far better.
9467 – Small Islands just offshore of La Push, WA, Mar-9-2103. Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24-105mm f/4 lens at 58mm, f/20, 1/25th of a second, ISO 640, tripod. This is one of a bracket of 3. It is converted to monochrome via Nik Silver Efex Pro II within Photoshop 4.