Thursday, February 10, 2011

2011 WEEK 6: It Don't Matter If You're Black & White

I set myself the challenge of capturing some monochromatic images this week and it was exactly that, a challenge!

Even though I had sun in the sky, albeit a sun that was diffused through a thin layer of high elevation cloud, 90% of the photos I took were just "meh"... A lot of them just felt flat and kind of boring to me. It was a good reminder that black and white photography is all about textures, tones and contrast; finding those sweet spots between the light and shadow.

I think I made things more difficult for myself by not having a solid plan in terms of subject matter. Even though walking around and seeing what I could stumble upon was fun (and good exercise after sitting on my butt in front of the computer for far too long) a lot of subjects just didn't really lend themselves to black and white. Still, out of 350+ pictures (delete! delete! delete!) there's a few here that I quite like...

A rare sight. A practically empty Skytrain. I'm pretty sure this guy missed his stop.

Another location and another station. This time the Pacific Central at Main & Terminal. This place will always occupy a special place in my heart as it was featured in my very first short film, "The Fare". One of the few places in Vancouver where one doesn't have to look hard to find awesome architecture and history. I love the mood of this place.

Also at the station. I wonder if these two folks are arriving or departing?

Black and white is great for finding beauty in dirty corners. This was taken in the far corner of False Creek (near Science World) where the lack of tidal movement often causes pollutants to collect. Those paint brush-like streaks are actually boat oil.

These two fellows showed up while I was snapping away and said, "Hope you don't mind birds in your photos!" They then pulled out four (yes four!) large round loaves of sourdough bread and turned this corner of False Creek into an all-you-can-eat buffet for the local seagull population.

A Finding Nemo kinda moment... "Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!"

Seagulls get a bad rap. They're nasty little scavengers. And yet... Another example of black and white imagery lending beauty to the beast. The lens flare really gives this image an ethereal quality. I'm super proud of this one especially since it was completely unintentional. These happy, lucky "accidents" are what make photography so addictive.

Another one of Vancouver's awesomely weird sculptures. I couldn't find a plaque identifying what/who/why this is here so I'll just call this "A Victim of Urban Sprawl"...


All of these images were captured with either the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 or the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8. Images were taken using the Canon 60Ds "monochrome" user setting and were post-processed with the addition of contrast and (in obvious cases!) blue tint.