Photo Diary | Black and White |

Monday, September 23, 2013


This weekend I spent some time with my grandma looking through old pictures (i am making the memorial pamphlet for my grandfather's service this week - i also spent a lot of time working on that. no easy task summing up such a great man.). Looking through all the old black and white snapshots reminded me of what made me first really fall in love with photography - it was looking through (my other) grandparents photos when I was little. They had a bookshelf filled with photos in shoeboxes and I would sit on the floor for hours going through them, probably on a weekly basis. I was obsessed. I had no idea that this grandma also had such a treasure trove of photos. I have seen a few old photographs here and there, but nothing like the hundreds we sifted through this weekend of their own childhood pictures, of them from their "courtship" days, through all their kids and their milestones. It was really fun; and just look at how gorgeous my grandma was. I kept telling her this and she kept saying "well I never thought I was very pretty" and I would say "are you kidding me?! you have to be kidding me! look at you!" 

After that I came home and decided to focus on taking some black and whites myself - which I used to do exclusively. It seems when you take a photo intentionally through the lens of black and white (figuratively of course) your eye sees things differently. You capture images in a way that is different than when you are looking for color. You look for contrasts, shadows, patterns and textures. And the black and white image relays a completely different feel. So I did a little of that with my "real" camera and my iphone too. 

Sunday I woke up to a perfectly lovely warm fall wind storm and we took a little walk, then rain came down  cold - which was fine with me because my Sunday evening agenda simply included lots of television: the emmy's (i don't think i saw one single dress that i really liked), breaking bad (what is going to happen to everyone?!) and the last episode of dexter (which i didn't actually get around to watching last  night but that's why i have dvr.). 

How was your weekend? Can you believe we are heading towards October already?! I realized this when I went to the grocery store yesterday and saw an overflowing pile of these

21 comments:

  1. You know (and AACK, comments look different and I'm trying not to freak out), I never thought about it that way before. To think about the shot in B&W before taking it. Duh! I rarely convert to black and white and always try it out as an afterthought in post processing, but I accept your challenge! Love the idea.

    Glad you spend the weekend remembering your granddad and that it inspired some creative pursuits. Think how happy he would have been.

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    1. ew. i don't like this new comment look. waaaaah!!

      thanks! yes, i have been sketching (doodling?) a little too - i am terrible at it but maybe i'll get better someday. xoxo

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  2. I love looking through old photos - we spent one weekend in LA doing just that and my cousin scanned them and emailed them all to us. I should remember to post them. My grandma was way into glamour shots of herself. :) We had some fall-ish type weather here (nothing like what you guys had) but it'll be back in the 90s this week. Sigh, Texas weather

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    1. i looove old photos and would looooove it if you posted some. whenever i go into an antique store i inevitably find myself at one the tables or baskets with old photos.

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  3. Wow, those photos of your grandparents are so gorgeous.She was an absolute stunner. I really think women were just prettier back then, they didn't fuss with themselves as much as we seem to.

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    1. i agree. i think it's this air of femininity that there seemed to be back in the day, and things weren't so trendy, so they also always look stylish.

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  4. This is all so so sweet. I remember looking through my dad's photographs that he kept in a large tin can growing up. Although they were in black and white and not all were charming (some of his friends camping - boys being boys), all were so inspiring. I never really noticed until now that I probably picked up photography as a hobby because of him. I think I will mimic you and take a few photos in black and white soon. I love how shadows look when there is only greyscale. I cannot wait for some real fall weather (in Florida, what is fall?). I am more looking forward to some cool weather festivities like pumpkin picking!

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    1. i agree, shadows have much more purpose in b&w, well, at least for me because i haven't mastered those gorgeous dark and moody shots in color. but maybe practicing in b&w would help with that? xo

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  5. Old photographs have such a draw on me, there is something so romantic about back and white, and how everyone dressed back then. Women wore lovely dresses and men wore slacks and nice shoes. What a beautiful collection of photos you shared with us. Yes, your grandmother was an undeniable babe.
    I get what you mean about shooting in black and white, too. Our first whole year of photo school we shot exclusively in black and white film (developed and printed them ourselves in a real darkroom and everything!), and the limitations not shooting in color presented were fun and actually more freeing than we thought. You absolutely see things differently, you have to be more thoughtful and deliberate with every frame. I'm so happy you're getting back into b&w!
    xoxo thinking of you this week with your grandfather's memorial.

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    1. first thank you xoxo and second, yep, that's how i started too (once i got more serious that is): b&w film, dark room. i miss those days, but not the chemicals and how long it took to get just one photo! but ( and maybe exactly because of those things) i definitely miss how much i planned every shot; not that there weren't a lot of bad ones in there, but you always knew when you had a great one. i don't feel that as much now???

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  6. I have to think about this. I often switch to black & white when the weather is bad and the skies are grey and everything is washed out. but I switch back home when I edit the photos. I wonder, some cameras might even have a feature where the display switches to sepia or black and white before you take the photo (which would be interesting as well as cheating). I've never thought about it or gone out to take b&w on purpose. might do this today :)

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  7. Colour photography will never measure up to black and white, no matter how good it is. Your photos are beautiful!

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