There is something about black & white photography that says, "Timeless". Over the past few years, I have been creating more and more black & white prints. I admit, I am a bit 'late to the game', when it comes to this niche - but I have found it immensely rewarding. So many photographers that I speak with (including my wife), speak so reverently of their early days of photography. Spending long hours in a dark room, sloshing chemicals and watching in anticipation as negatives and prints magically came to life in the dim light. They recall the smells, the excitement when a print appeared perfectly exposed, and the disappointment of film being ruined. I never had these experiences, since I skipped right past the darkroom, and found color chrome film to be my salvation. I got to experience a different kind of excitement - getting dozens of boxes of slides back from the lab, and laying them out on my homemade light-table. It was like Christmas.
Now I get to experience a new kind of excitement.
As a digital camera user, I photograph nearly everything in color. There have been a few situations that I knew would be better in black and white, so I set my LiveView window to display in b&w mode, so I could get a feel for how the image would appear. But 99.999% of my photography is shot in color, and the transformation to black and white comes as a realization when I begin processing these images. Perhaps this is because I see in color, and have a difficult time imagining a scene any other way? I really don't know.
This new image is just another example of an unexpected twist to my workflow. My initial intention with this print was definitely with color in mind. But as I tried several variations, my thoughts kept returning to black & white. This image is also quite large - a stitched 2:1 ratio panoramic, using 4 vertical photos to make up the end image. So, it can be printed quite big. In fact, I am setting the opening Rendition (#1) at the largest size that we can print in our custom lab - 40" x 80"! Open Editions prints are also available as a 12"x24", 24"x48", and 30"x60".
This is going to be one extraordinary print.
I am calling this image 'Crescendo'.
crescendo |krəˈSHendō|noun - • a progressive increase in force or intensity.