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Redo In Blue

February 19, 2011
Little Rocks From Big Rocks, Abraham Lake

Little Rocks From Big Rocks, Abraham Lake

A couple of posts back I wrote about how sometimes I’ll approach a scene and have a very clear idea that I’m going to develop the image as a monochrome treatment, or stick with color. Sometimes both work. In this case, I initially planned this shot as a monochrome right from the beginning. The way the light was playing over the scene, the contrasts, and the details of ice, rocks, trees and clouds… it all seemed like it was going to be tailor made for a nice, contrasty black & white image.

So that’s exactly how I set out to develop it. But once I went there, I found it wasn’t working for me at all. Even though the original scene was already quite monochromatic in a blue tone, I realized the blue coloration actually was a signature element that was needed to make the image come together. Without it, the frigid, crystalline qualities of the scene just weren’t being communicated. Having that icy pale blue in place really helps sell the winterness of being out on a frozen lake.

Now, I’ll often find that a scene I’m taking to monochrome has a signature color to it in a small area with a key subject element. In that case I’ll still go to black & white, but with some selective tinting with that original color to act as a kind of visual grace note. In this case the cold blue was essentially pervasive, so my final conclusion was to reset my plans and go back to a full color rendition. Stylistic plans are all well & good, but it’s important for the image to work on its own terms.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2011 09:06

    Another point well made Royce. Having an open mind and letting the image direct us is a good plan. After all, it has to affect us before it can affect a third party…

  2. February 19, 2011 16:15

    God I wish I was out there again. I have a talk planned, the Arena Photographers in Bournmouth UK and it turns out the organiser of the talks, Paul Foley, is out there right now, inspired by what we captured last year. How amazing is that.

    Will be back again, soon I hope..


    PS haven’t talked in ages!

  3. David (Art in Edmonton) permalink
    February 21, 2011 15:01

    Oooooo, I like this. Better than the Monochrome, I dare say.

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