Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Long Live Black and White

Back when I used a real camera, I shot black and white exclusively. This wasn't just because I could develop it myself. I've done color developing at home before, but it's not as fun or easily flexible. I love the look of a hand-crafted black and white print.

I hope to get back into the darkroom someday, but have been only shooting digital for now. I've not thought much of black and white in the context of digital photography. My camera doesn't have a black and white mode and more than that, the concept of "digital black and white" seems almost sacrilegious to my old safelight sensibilities.

I was inspired, however, after looking at the first few photos on K-Saki's flickr page. They're beautiful black and whites, and completely digital. Even the "film grain" effect is purely from the low light exposure mode.

I decided to try a little myself and have been pleased with the results. I little contrast tweaking with gimp and I think Mary looks much better in black and white. Specifically, the distracting background is much tamed and I love the dark tones of her shirt.

I can almost smell the Dektol. Maybe doing a little digital black and white will spur me on to start doing the real thing again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Downtown Treasure

I love downtown St. Paul. I got to know it when I worked at the big public library there several years ago. The skyway system is such a wonderful mixture of new, old, vacant, and glorious.

Walking through one building in a abandoned restaurant exterior you look up and see this:

Anyone know what building this is?