So Mama Don't

Take my monochrome away...

Monochrome is an opportunity to make the make the maximum out of the minimum.

I like taking photographs in color since I live in the desert that has unique colors. They burst out of the photograph usually with no or little editing and the pigments call out their hue for the world to view. There is a different challenge though creating interesting photographs in monochrome. Although called monochrome actually by nature of definition you are originating something either from a variation of the same shade of color or in the case of black and white, technically two non-colors.

The challenge is to take what limited amount you have, a variety of shades of a single color (or two contrasting non-colors) and make something interesting, aesthetically pleasing and of beauty. The life lesson is that in a gray world of some distant badlands that has cold dark winters or an outback of hot sandy glaring summers, both dominated by a singular omnipresent color, the variation can be used in ways to gratify and amuse through photography.

Shooting in monochrome, black and white or sepia, provides an opportunity to either imply the beauty of the surroundings or take relatively ordinary things and make them speak for themselves in varying shades of singular or duo tones that contrast with each other. The differences between black and white can be stark or with sepia subtle as well as vice versa.

Sometimes a good monochrome photograph comes along that was actually a technical error. This picture of Mount Eldon I shot in black and white in a hurry and didn't know what I had until I downloaded my photos and realized the exposure was incorrect. I have a similar good quality color photograph of the same view but it is not nearly as interesting as this one.

I like to take a basic monochromatic photograph taken in black and white or sepia and with as little editing as possible bend the base color a little bit to give depth and perspective. That is the challenge of working in contrasting shades of the same color. Occasionally it's difficult to tell if a picture that has had a little cross processing was shot in black and white since it can give the appearance of color hues. It becomes an example of how a photograph composed of one color or two contrasting non-colors can be turned into an object to make life more stimulating and artful.

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