A Contrast of Processes

What’s your thoughts on monochrome photography?

When I first worked in black-and-white in college if loved the feel the images gave. This was back in 1982. That was when I first really learned how to develop Tri-X Pan and print my photographs. I loved the control of printing my own photos. I could produce the image that I imagined in my head.

There was one drawback to darkroom work. I didn’t like it. Processing  film was torture. I am very cognizant of time. Spending minutes on end in a darkened room agitating the developing tanks was a miserable time.

Printing photos was OK, but the ever-present struggle against dust and lint on the negative was frustrating. No matter how careful I’d be, there always something to blemish my print. Being a college student on a limited budget meant the waste of photo paper was a burden on the wallet.

Sending black-and-white film out for processing and printing was unsatisfying. The pictures never came out as I imagined the shot in my head. Still, monochrome photos captivate me and technology is enabling me to produce the photos I “see” in my mind.

I’ve been working in Lightroom lately and learning how to make high-contrast monochrome photos.

The lead photo is a replica of Michelangelo’s “La Pieta” that’s at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville, Virginia. Thought the smoothness of the sculpture and the textured brick wall behind would work well.

The second photo I shot a couple of months ago. The sign stood on the corner of Route 15 and Logmill Road in Haymarket, Virginia. I loved the homemade nature of the sign, the “no trespassing” sign below, and the clouds.


I’ll never be an Ansel Adams, but I’m pleased with the results, but I still have a lot more to learn.

What do you think?



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