Black and White
I do not see the world in black and white with shades of grey but rather I see a kaleidoscope of color that sings to my heart in vibrant pinks, reds, golds, greens and all the colors in between. I see more than form and structure... I see and feel the emotion of the colors that reflect in my eyes, for it is all of these colors and what they represent that are a part of my world... from the somber black to the fiery, passionate red.
What a lackluster world if we could not see in color and worse yet, imagine not being able to see at all. For anyone who lives life through the viewfinder of a camera that would certainly be the hardest challenge of all. We take our senses for granted yet as photographers, I truly feel that we celebrate life when we put the camera to our eye to capture that moment that speaks to us. And when I say "photographer", I do not only refer to a photographer who uses this medium to make a living, but all photographers who get joy from the click of the shutter button and the resulting image regardless of expertise or the equipment being used.
All of this came to mind as I set up these shots in my upstairs bathroom. This is the only room in the house where I can achieve total darkness as there are no windows... pitch black when I shut the door and turn off the lights. Yes... this is my "darkroom"! With the camera on a tripod and set to "bulb" and a cable release attached, I set up my autumn leaves on a piece of black foam core. I set my ISO to 100, f-stop to f/11 and manually focused. Once that was done, I turned on my LED flashlight, turned off the bathroom lights and aimed my flashlight at the leaves as I opened my shutter with the cable release and then moved the flashlight beam over the leaves, sometimes lingering a little longer in one area or another. I moved the light to overhead and then from the right side and the left side. Even tried it from the back. I left the shutter open for about 2 seconds for each shot. Lots of trial and error. It is no wonder that I never tried this with film. I would have gone broke! After each exposure, I would check my viewing screen to see if I was anywhere close to what I wanted to capture.
In Lightroom I tweaked the clarity, the contrast, the darks and shadows, and vibrance until I found what I was looking for. Once I had the color photo, I converted the photo to black and white and though I liked the shapes and textures of the leaves, it was the color that spoke to me the most.
And then my mind wandered as I thought of other things I might try shooting as I experiment with light painting.
So I sit here in an ice storm in Texas with the last leaves of autumn... a tribute to a beautiful time of year and the change of seasons. As we enter the winter season... so do I, in my own personal life, as the years pass by all too quickly. But for now, I choose to hang onto the colors that bring joy and good cheer and stave off the brutal winter that awaits, for it is through photography that I live my life, and love having the capability of sharing this simple life with you, one image at a time.
Live a colorful life and don’t let a moment pass you by! Every second and every minute counts. Make the most of what you are given and never take it for granted.
Capture it... celebrate it... and share it!
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