I’m leaving the HDR arena today to jump into an area that isn’t discussed much these days. It’s the use of a few artistic quotes from photographers who seem to have a need to express themselves and define their work with some witty, interesting or provocative saying. And some of those sayings inherit a life of their own.
So here goes. Please don’t take this as a criticism of any long held opinion(s). This is just my opinion based on a logical approach to what’s being said and repeated.
- The Full Color Reality
Many photographers have many opinions about what constitutes genuine photographic expression when it comes to photographing people. One of the popular quotes goes like this.“When you photograph a man in color, you photograph his clothes. When you photograph a man in B&W, you photograph his soul!” Ted Grant (Current versions substitute “a man, his” with “people, their”. . .politically correct, ya know.)
That’s “Ooh Ah speak” used to redefine the photographic reality that life is in color and that the emotions of life are experienced in glorious, living color. Just think about it. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, truth is not monochrome. Art can be. But the true essence of an emotion is connected to reality and that’s color.
There are times when a black and white or some type of monochrome conversion will definitely add an artistic dimension to a portrait or candid image. But by going beyond the original image, the photo becomes simply art and not a realistic documentation of the situation.
To say that the essence or soul of a person can only be exposed with black and white is simply an artistic preference since whatever a soul is must be defined by the person using the word. Kind of like “you say it your way and I’ll say it my way”. Actually, the meaning of the Greek word, ψυχή psychē refers to soul as life, spirit or consciousness. (From my college days.) :-)
This seems to be the meaning that we accept in our culture. And even with that, when words like these are used, the context really determines the meaning. You can see how quotes like the one above can lead just about anywhere.
- Just for the Art of it!
Here are some “Artistic” conversions of the images that I’ve used above. Please compare and comment.