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The Play of Yin and Yang - Seeing the World in Black and White, Old and New.

Each day I take a walk on the street I live on, and it ends on the corner where these stones and grasses offer a dramatic juxtaposition of nature's creations. The rocks are ancient, both in the time it took them to form deep in the earth, and the time it took them to rise to the surface and form into the shapes we see here. The grasses, on the other hand, sprouted, grew, and are going to seed in weeks. While the stones form a tiered garden and help hold up the hill behind them, the grasses play in the wind, and drape themselves into dance-like arcs that catch the sun's light from 95 million miles away, turning them into almost-liquid shapes.

Here is a more "normal" photo, meaning that it's how our eyes usually would see this scene. The rocks are less present, while the grasses are vibrant in their range of color and light. The arcs of their seed-pods sway like ballet dancers, and the scene has an abundance of shades of green.

Which do I prefer? I enjoy both, but the black-and-white version has a depth and beauty that my eyes keep exploring. The color version is "pretty" in usual sense, but my eyes don't wander over it and explore it they way they do with the black-and-white version.

Just to give you another way of comparing color and black & white, here's the color photo in black and white:

Truly, the color and BW versions of this photo seem to be almost entirely different images to me. The BW is quieter, and I see it in a different way. The color version of this image is vibrant, and has an energy that draws me into the scene.

I'd enjoy reading your comments about how you experience color photographs vs black and white. Please post them in the comment section below!


How to Turn Your Photos Into Black and White

If you have an iPhone, you can convert a color image to BW by clicking on "Edit" in the top right corner that appears when to are swiping through your photos one-by-one, and then on the three circles at the bottom of the screen. Scroll to the right and all the preset modifications of your photo will go by one-by-one. You'll reach the BW options at the end. The photos don't change permanently when you do this - just swipe back to the images on the left and you come back to your original.

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1 comentario

03 ago 2021

It's fascinating how the mind collects, stores, and recalls images. As I first glanced at the first black and white photo, my mind created the concept of a shoulder-to-shoulder line of Andy Warhols, or at least his hair:

But when I came to my senses, I was able to immerse myself in the simple serenity that those organic, flowing images impart. Forms such as these without color allow the mind, I think, to focus on the textures and shapes and implied movement, and that presents an entirely different kind of experience presented by full color tableaux. I can't say I prefer grayscale to polychrome images because color adds a life and unique vitality to well composed pictures, and I find…

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