9 June 2016

Portraits: Seeing The World Anew



I've had my monochrome camera for a month, and I want to report that it is changing the way I see the world and the people in it. For reasons I cannot entirely explain, it seems, as one photographer said, to look into the soul of a living thing, rather than just capture the image.

The best I can do is say that I think black and white captures emotion better than some elements of digital photography, which captures color and light.

I have great respect for cell phone photography, you can make some beautiful pictures, but this kind of photo – taken when Fate jumped up on a stone wall to figure out what I was doing –  captures something special, it looks into her soul a bit, captures her curiosity, her affection, her intensity.

When Fate is showing love, her ears go back, unlike a horse, who shows fear and anger in that same way. She came to say hello to me and, I think, to see if I am okay, and what I'm up to, which she sometimes does. I am heartened by this black and white experience, it has altered my idea of art and image quite a bit. I am determined to get a new portrait lens, the 85 mm from Canon, I have saved up nearly $1,000, I have about $800 to go.

With the 85 mm, Fate's face will fill the frame, be closer, even more impact and detail. The 35 mm, used for this photo, is my main lens, my favorite one. I love the detail in the eyes, tough to catch in a dog at best, and the reflection of the light in her pupils. Also, the white eyebrows and whiskers balance one another.

I remembered when I first started taking photos, I would just call up B&H Photo and charge it, I never really had to think about what it costs. This is more meaningful in a number of ways. I have to think about what I want, research it and wait for it. It makes it all the more precious.

I am learning to save and wait for the things I want, and  appreciate the help I got in getting the monochrome. It turns out to be as powerful a tool as I sensed it would be, and I can't even recall where the idea came from. I think it started out with the $15,000 Leica, an idea I abandoned. Too much money to raise and to ask for, and I wonder if it would have been much different.

Anyway, thanks again for your support in my getting this monochrome, which I am sharing with you. It really got me started in a powerful new direction.


Thanks for the lovely letters I continue to receive at my Post Office Box, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. They mean a great deal to me.


Posted in Farm Journal