Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No Color, No Life

Sunflowers. There is an amazing energy in a field of yellow sunflowers.

Helen Keller said, 
”Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It's what sunflowers do.”

There comes a time nevertheless, when even a sunflower loses its life. And when life goes, color goes.

A black and white image of something as universally yellow as a sunflower, comes as a shock.

Is it because, as Stefan Kanfer says, “There's something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery.”

Or is it the freshness effect, as Annette Funicello commented, “Watching television in those days was not the same experience as it is today. After years of listening to radio, we found the black-and-white images mesmerizing.

After all that color embedded in the multimedia coming at us every day, is a black and white image merely novelty? Or is the choice of black and white a manipulation of the media to magnify the statement?

Asahi Pentax, 200mm, 1974.

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At November 20, 2011 at 9:54 AM , Blogger JBS said...

Ansel Adams preferred B&W as it is a step further removed from 'reality' than color.

More "art".

Looking at a photo of a sweater in a catalog, one might say, "I like that sweater" when one is actually looking at a print of a photograph of a sweater.

He wrote a good bit about it in "Ansel Adams In Color".


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