Sunday, May 13, 2012

“We Drove All Night Until We Reached 1930”

Growing up, we never had a color TV in our house. For most of those years, our set was a small portable early 1960s model with a 10-inch screen. The reception was often so distorted that even when we weren’t watching Star Trek, everyone on TV looked as though they were going through a transporter. Still, for some reason I thought our set was in color. Despite my father’s earnest explanations, and even my own witnessing of a color TV once at my grandparents, I still believed that the image on our little TV was true to life. Eventually I figured out the difference, especially when I began shooting and editing super8 movies. But black and white remained my photographic view. In fact, I didn’t fully embrace color photography until the prolific instantaneousness of digital photography finally gave me the crash course I needed. After 10 years of color work, returning to black and white seems more natural than ever – like the fresh perspective of a traveler coming home. My friend and photographer John Huseby introduced me to shooting with lens filters, which have added a new creative layer. It’s like color without color. True color is beautiful, but it’s complicated. Color can open your eyes, but it can blind you. There’s a timeless essence to black and white that appeals to me; like this photo, taken at a vista along Route 253 in Mendocino County.

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