Color or BW

Mark’s paintings yesterday inspired me to a flurry of work with the junkyard abstractions that I introduced last week. As I mentioned then, it’s the color as well as the abstraction that I find fascinating. To explore this a little bit systematically, I went through basic preparation of a number of the images to get a sort of baseline treatment. That involves a choice of overall contrast and saturation, and in one case a slight shift in color balance. Later I can investigate more complex possibilities that might involve manipulations of portions of individual images, or variations in the hue-tone relationships.

As I was engaging in this photoplay, I still found myself attracted to black and white versions. A few images I found interesting in both saturated color and completely desaturated, but with most I had a definite preference. In the example shown above, I think I like what I feel as the drama of the monochrome version. Of course, I could have done a better job with the colors, and most likely I’ll try again.


Actually, I print many of by “black and white” images not in the most neutral grays I can achieve, but in tinted tones that can have an interesting impact even if the viewer is not consciously aware of the “deviation.” The example above is not so subtle, but gives an idea of the possibilities. I like the warmer color and other associations that come with it. This morning, getting ready for a ski day in Yellowstone, it makes me think of an old, scarred buffalo hide.

I’ve put up a first set of images on my web site under the title Patina. I’d be very interested to hear what you think about both the color and the BW images. Although exciting, this recent work has also been a little disappointing. Even though it’s still in progress, I could wish it were better. I just feel the images are not as strong as I’m convinced they could be. One thing that’s clear to me so far: I need to go back and bring home more junk.