Over the next two weeks, I will be sharing three portfolios of black and white photographs, starting here with grand landscapes (the other posts in this series: smaller scenes in nature and intimate landscapes, plants, and tips for creating better black and white photographs). This is a project I have been working on in fits and starts for a few years and although it still does not feel complete, it is time for me to get these photos off of my hard drive and into the world.
For my photography, I enjoy working in both color and black and white. Generally, I feel more restrained when presenting a photograph in color. While I do not hold others to the same principles, I personally think that my color photographs need to be mostly grounded in the reality of the moment I experienced in the field. While working within this constraint is my choice, it does highly influence my work in a way that applies boundaries. With my color work, I often seek to portray simplicity, quietness, elegance, and contemplation. Many of my color photos are light and bright, or soft and quiet. With my black and white work, I often choose to portray drama, grandeur, and darkness in a way that just does not work for me when working in color.
With black and white photography, the constraints of conveying “reality” do not come into play since there is no reality conveyed in shades of gray. Thus, I can take an image file and create something that reflects my interests, visual preferences, and emotions about a scene or place in a much different way than I can with a color photograph. By shedding the expectations that come along with color photography, I have the opportunity to share my photographic concepts with greater latitude.
Later this week, I will share a portfolio of nature's smaller scenes and abstract views of natural subjects, followed by a portfolio of plant photos next week and a longer post with some tips for creating stronger black and white photographs. With this project wrapping up for now, I look forward to shifting my time to work through recent and not-so-recent photos from Death Valley National Park and Zion National Park (2017 is the year of catching up on my photo processing backlog - or at least making significant progress).
You can view all of the photos below plus others, at a much larger size, in my Black + White: Grand Landscapes gallery. Additionally, if you would like to learn more about black and white nature photography, you might be interested in our new ebook + video course, Black & White Photography: A Complete Guide for Nature Photographers (185 page ebook, plus 9 videos on photo processing - sold separately or as a bundle). You can save 20% for a limited time with the code BW20.
You can view all of these photos plus others, at a much larger size, in my Black + White: Grand Landscapes gallery.