Saturday, November 22, 2014

White on White

   With the first snowfall comes not only beauty but photographic possibilities.  Photographing snow is not easy, well, at least I don't find it so.  If it is too bright it burns out, too dark and it turns blue but it's worth the effort.

   It made me think of the possibility of photographing only white things, not just snow.  There are so many variations of what we lump into the category of "white".  Infinite forms of whiteness. 

   A photographer spent some time photographing the Harvard campus and focused only on "the lighter side", creating a series of neutral toned images.  You can see the series here. Although not completely white, the series does show the possibility of the limited palette in photography.

   I often do what I call "Etchings" during the winter, when I photograph the delicate shadows on the snow.   And of course, there is the fantasy world of frost on windows.

   These two images were originally photographed in color and then converted to black and white.  The challenge now, however, would be to photograph white things in color.  You would have to be a lot more selective and discriminating in your subject selection and more careful in the way you handle the image in Photoshop.

   Finding ways to challenge your camera work by photographing white subjects is simply an exercise in honing your eye...becoming more attuned to subtle nuances of tone and light.  And you don't have to live in snowy New England!  Consider spending a day just looking for white on white composition possibilities.  Might be an interesting way to spend a day.  Hmm...looks like my ink is fading into whiteness.....



kimmanleyort said...

The first snow is always so awe-inspiring, isn't it? The white is just so pure. I love your etchings, especially the wire fence and its shadows. And, the idea to photograph white on white. Not easy for sure. Clever ending too.

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you Kim. I am fascinated by white for some reason. I thought I'd have a bit of fun with the ending of that piece, glad you appreciated it!