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Portland Head Lighthouse - In Black & White!

Hello everyone!

I have been working on the black and white version of this image for a while now, and I think it's finally ready to share:

It took a long time reflecting and reviewing several versions until I settled on the final look. When editing, it's hard to not be influenced by an earlier version of an image, particularly if you liked it a lot.

I tried to let go of my affection I felt for the color version of this image...aiming to start with fresh eyes.

I remember what it was like only a few years ago. Back then, I wouldn't consider, even look, at any of my images in color. Even if the color was instantly appealing. As soon as the RAW file hit my computer, I proceeded with my black and white conversion. I remember my students frequently asking why I had not kept the color in several of my photographs at the time. My answer, always, was simply: ...but I see in black and white." My photography was to be in black and white exclusively. If my digital camera would have had a black and white only mode, I would have used it so as to avoid the distraction I thought color to be.

Then, about 14 months, something changed. I started to explore color, actually still am. I feel that it's a part of my evolvement and development as an artist, stretching my vision as a photographer.

If you compare the above black and white version with the color image posted before, It's obvious to notice just how different they feel and make you feel. When speaking with other photographers, especially those who would consider themselves as fine-art photographers, black and white caries a strong reputation. It is a clear abstraction from reality, and due to that fact alone it often generates bigger visual appeal. Me personally, I was always drawn to the simplicity of lines, shapes and texture present in black and white images. Color can be a very distracting element. The great Jay Maisel told me that "..unless color is a vital element that makes your image work, avoid it..." I thought long and hard about this statement, and I am working on improving my understanding of what exactly can make color a vital part for an image' impact. This journey will, no doubt, take me many many more years. I am enjoying it so far, and forcing myself to do the best I can and produce images in both color and black and white at the same time, helps me define what I am drawn to in my photography. I hope it will help me define my style as well.

Please let me know your thoughts on the subject. Why are you drawn to or prefer color and/or black and white? Any comments and feedback are much appreciated!

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