Moody Monochrome

I am not a wedding photographer. I don’t even consider myself a photographer. Not really. If something catches my eye, I take a picture with the idea that it might be usable… for something… perhaps a future project. My subjects range from rocks and insects, to shapes and colours, to cherished friends and relatives. One of the best courses I took while studying fine art at Emily Carr College of Art and Design was a black and white photography course… back in the days of film, chemicals, and darkrooms. I transitioned to digital years ago, but I still find that some photos just work better in monochrome.

The images above are from the second of two weddings that I attended up north this summer. This was my niece’s, which took place outdoors on my brother’s 190 acre property in Matheson. Anyway, I basically just wandered around with my camera all day looking for opportunities and anything interesting. The background where the ceremony took place was quite beautiful, and though the sky was unusually ominous, it didn’t rain.

Converting these particular photos to black and white was necessary in order to eliminate the problem of too many colours and shades of green overpowering the composition. By reducing distractions, the vast space and atmosphere are allowed to fully convey their moodiness through texture and contrast in three distinct sections–the sky, the tree line, and the smoother grassy foreground. Objects and/or people in the foreground enrich the whole by suggesting a particular narrative. The result is quite surreal and engaging.

I was surprised that these photos ended up being some of the most interesting of the day, and I just had to share. Let me know what you think, and feel free to share your own experiences/struggles with monochrome vs. colour photography. I’d love to hear from you.

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