Monochrome

Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light

Our lives change so dramatically, depending on our social contexts and age. I started moving more towards monochrome about a year or so ago. Since then, I have presented a greater portion of my work this way. At first, articles describing monochrome as the more artistic medium—better able to show form, texture, and in many cases, strong contrast, motivated me. It removes color’s “distraction”. Naturally, not all compositions maximize the uniqueness of monochrome

Harding Beach, Cape Cod; image scored 14 of 15 pts in Camera Rochester juried competition
Remains

(birds, flowers, and sunsets come to mind). Therefore, the trick when shooting monochrome is to see our surroundings from a monochromatic perspective to identify those compositions that might be best presented this way.

So, art theory aside, what draws some photographers to monochrome? I think because it gives us another dimension to express what we feel. Consider the first photo. Here, Portland Head Light stands at the gateway of Casco Bay and the North Atlantic on a mostly overcast day in late November. Guiding ships and boats, it stands vigil at the end of seasonal growth, awaiting the darker winter days ahead. The fence post in the second photograph stands alone,

Steps to Somewhere

no longer connected to the other posts. The steps on a winter’s day leading to some unknown in the third photograph—all metaphors for the loss of loved ones, unrequited love, and loneliness.

Fortunately, social contexts change—one day I will shoot more color.

Author: Stephen Fielding Images

I'm a retired medical sociologist from the University of Rochester. My publishing experience includes a wide variety of academic articles and a book, "The Practice of Uncertainty" (1999). The mission of my blog is to provide accounts of the natural environment, including photos, in order to raise awareness of its fragility and the impact of climate change. Climate change is the greatest challenge currently faced by humanity. I occasionally write about the impact of climate change using the principles of social scientific writing. To do this I read reputable books and articles on the topic. So when I make statements about climate change you will see a link taking you to the scientific source(s) of the information I provide. As for my independently published photobooks, each has gone through several layers of editing and peer review for both readability and accuracy. This is not to say that everything I say is accurate. Even the New York Times makes mistakes. So, if you find something that is factually incorrect, let me know. I hope you find reading my blog a positive experience. If you do, please encourage your family and friends to have a look. Best wishes, -Steve

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