To Color Or Not To Color

West Side of Manhattan from Hoboken Terminal, ©2012 Dave Ortiz

So as usual no sooner do I commit to something than I turn around and change my mind. I am starting a new project dealing with the west side of Manhattan and the idea of The West in American mythology. The idea of escape, renewal, building, progress, etc. (I’ll have to think about these things a little deeper) but as depicted on the far west side of Manhattan. At first I was going to shoot black and white film to emulate classic photographs of the west (Ansel Adams to Robert Adams) but I just was not satisfied with the look of film. I wanted something different. Then I decided to shoot in color digitally and bought the Nikon D700. As I shoot I am loving the quality of the images but in the back of my head I still think it should be in black and white.

Color and black and white are two different ways of communicating. Many color photographers are really speaking in black and white but just happen to be shooting color film. Color is about emotion, black and white is about form and texture. What I am now experimenting with is converting the color digital images into black and white digital images. This is a craft unto itself. Below is an example of what I am talking about. With this image the color just gets in the way.

I am hoping that this can become a new way of communicating pictorially. Or maybe it’s just the same conversation just rendered in a more modern way. We’ll see.



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