Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Great Debate

Black/White or Color Portraiture?

When you look at a portrait what gives your mind more of a jolt of fresh emotions?  Black and white or color?  As a photographer who has grown over the last few years capturing many faces of people I've known for my whole life, as well as total strangers who have been willing to allow me to capture them as they are; I still find this to be the ever constant struggle.  As the saying goes "a picture's worth one thousand words," humans by nature tell their story through their expressions.  Portraits in black and white draw out the textures that make us who we are; whether it be scars, wrinkles, pimples, flaws make us pay attention to the the finer details.  I love when I meet a stranger who has a great beard or wrinkles like a pug, while this sounds mean they are the finest characters and often have the best stories to share.  I also find that because the details that are brought out via the black and white conversion, as an artist I focus more on the subject; the background is not an important piece of the picture.  

While many of my portraits are in black and white, I am stretching outside of my comfort zone and trying to bring pictures to life.  With color, it's easier to take in details in the photo aside from the subject; for example an outdoor portrait in a flower field.  When your brain processes the colors and takes in the scene, you sometimes smelling the colors.  No that's not drugs talking, but the human brain can think of colors as scents and vice versa (at least my brain does).  I see green and the first thing I can think of is fresh cut grass, on a warm summer morning.  Orange processes to late summer sunsets, blue is a very open minded color as many it could be water or the sky at the right time of day.  Colors are what we make them, we can manipulate and destroy them but at the end of the day it's just like a palette of paint.  Mix/match create but isn't that what art is all about?

I debated for a little while tonight about what do with today's POD, and decided that I would go with color; but knew that it would give me something to write about.  While I hope that not all my blogs turn out to be as boring as this one, I much appreciate if you've taken the time to read this.  

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