Black and white always seemed logical and intuitive to me. Additionally, I see my images in black and white even before they’re made with the camera.Since the development of digital technology and inkjet printing I can now print my color photographs. Prior to that I just took my negatives and slides to a lab. The hardest part for me was always the color balance…making sure whites, grays and blacks came out neutral. In black and white, that was never a problem.
I always color balance in Lightroom first, usually by simply clicking on a pure white piece of the image. After that it’s a matter of adjusting saturation, local contrast, sharpness and tonal range. In color, what I always find difficult is determining the accuracy of the colors in the photograph while still being interpretive of the scene.I made this photograph in Palamós, a beautiful village in the Province of Girona north of Barcelona on the Costa Brava. My cousin loaned us her flat for a week and while you can easily walk the town from end-to-end in a short amount of time, the photo opportunities could get limiting. Early morning and late evening made the narrow streets very dark or very bright with a lot of contrast. Digital cameras don’t like bright areas (Zones VII and VIII) giving way to deep shadow (Zones III and II).
The door was in shade, with the top of the image just starting to get some morning light. I prefer to look for a little more in black and white but with color what grabs my attention are the graphic qualities of the image and how the shades and tints fill the frame. In this photograph, the quality and angle of the light helped…and while I wouldn’t have picked that blue for my house…someone did.It’s great to go out and look. Sometimes you don’t think you’re going to catch any fish but, more often than not, you do. Even if you have an empty day, at least you hone your eye a little and work on your vision.