Playing around with my newly inherited Pentax Spotmatic SLR, I decided to dabble in some black and white fun. The challenge is to not only see composition, but also contrast in shapes and colors. Things viewed in a color-filled world doesn’t always translate into a good black and white. If there are too many similarly toned/valued objects, despite them being different colors, the picture will look flat.
Here’s an example of pink and yellow. They seem to be quite different to the color-seeing eye, but when converted to grayscale, it becomes almost identical. There’s not much contrast, which makes it look a little blah.
I am far from mastering this concept, but it’s great motivation to see the world differently.
I used Ilford HP5 PLUS 400ISO film, a lovely black and white film. Processing was done at Photoworks SF where they do a spectacular job with all prints. BW takes a couple extra days, but it’s well worth the wait. I forgot to have them scanned though, so again, you’ll have to settle for a digital photograph of the printed photograph. Yeah, it seems a bit silly. The quality isn’t as good as the print (light reflections and minor distortions in the corners) because I didn’t take the time to adjust things as necessary, but you get the gist of it.
Here is my kiddo. She looks a lot like me here.
A view from Pacific Heights looking down to the Marina:
The famous Painted Ladies wearing shades of gray in Alamo Square.
And there you have it, in black and white.