Seeing B&W in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

20 Sep

Some of the adult photo classes I teach at a local community college are about taking better photos. And with that I really push those individuals to be open about seeing. In the Tim Allen “The Santa Clause” an elf tells him when he has doubts about the spirit of Christmas and why kids believe and adults don’t, that is it different for the two groups. “Seeing is believing as opposed to believing is seeing.”

We all see life in different ways, and sometimes we have to be open to what we actually, physically see and what we see in our mind’s eye. I have been shooting a great deal with the Fuji X cameras and lenses I have acquired this past year. And I like that system a lot. One of the things I like is the in-camera conversion to B&W. My career for newspapers started with shooting Tri-X and the old adage of f/8 and be there.

I miss shooting B&W. It still has its place in photography. I like the Fuji X cameras for this because the red, green and yellow filter effect one can do in camera with some minor adjustments with tonality in camera give me the B&W images I remember. I used to love using a red #25 filter and an orange #15 filter. Then with a little development tweaking, I got some nice negatives with which to print from.

These days there are a variety of B&W plug-ins to use with Photoshop to achieve some really nice black and white results that create great prints. However, I haven’t tried them, but just find I get acceptable results with this camera system as opposed to converting to B&W in my Canons.

Shooting around the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, the older buildings really lend to the use of B&W. The subject matter plays an important part I believe. I know I will not use this technique when shooting fall colors. But it’s nice to change it up every now and again.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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