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Monochromes. January 7, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death, Politics and Society.
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5 comments

I just read a magazine article about monochrome photography and thought, “That’s what that farm in Williamstown was like.”

I got out there this past Thursday, turned into an untracked driveway, looked for signs of life.

No one.

Just an array of barns and out-buildings standing dream-like in the swirling snow:

Weathered barns and decaying fences told of a former life:

So many doors, which lead to who remembers where?

And now, they’re trellises for whatever vinaceous species seek out their support:

The wood weathering, the rest rusting it’s way through the years:

And beyond their walls, the Berkshires watch it happen:

All of these are Elliot’s work, with a bit of jostling and jiggering from me.  The weather was wet and windy and I couldn’t get too fancy, but I used some hand-held filters in some of these.

The result of the ubiquitously gray palette and the flat light are all monochromes,  though only one of them is actually rendered in black and white.  I think of monochromes as photos with shallow but enticing palettes and dynamic ranges, though that last one stretches the “range” part a bit.

I really liked the way Elliot worked this day, getting both the architectural shots and the details.  I felt in control of what we were doing.

It occurred to me on the carry back to the car that I’d gotten pretty close to some of my subjects, and  I wondered about Elliot’s minimum focusing distance.  I hadn’t previously thought of him as a close-up lens, and didn’t really know how close I could get with him.

As a matter of investigation, I took this photo of a wide-board fence grown over with lichen, which will reduce it to compost in a season:

The blog doesn’t do the detail justice, but it’s pretty good at well under a foot.

This lens  continues to surprise me.  The more  I use it, the more uses I see for it.  This last photo is an example of something extra Elliot can do, as is that first shot, where I seriously restricted the plane  of sharp focus rather than trying to extend it, turning it vertically to draw the eye to the ladder and loft and softly falling snow.

For Elliot (and for me,) this was a good day.