It’s been a good long while since I’ve made a black and white photograph. A quick look at the archive reveals other than a onetime blip back in April, it had been since August of 2015 that I had made a proper black and white. Too long!
Interestingly enough this photograph was yesterday’s output of no more than a five minute photo detour I took along my parents’ side yard before transitioning to camera-less Fourth of July activities. It’d be wrong to categorize the 16 exposures as throw-away shots, but I’d be lying if I said I knew I was going to walk away with at least three keepers from the brief session. The lighting seemed unremarkable and the wind was blowing just enough to frustrate any handheld macro shooter; and yet the results populating my Lightroom catalog run entirely to the contrary. (A good reminder that I still have plenty to learn.)
I really like black and white, and I really like this shot. It’s sporting all the key ingredients required for a well executed black and white photograph—macro or otherwise. The composition is strong, moving the eye from the deep darkness of the bottom left corner up and through the stamen and pistils of the hibiscus flower. The selective focus adds moodiness and depth to the photograph, enhancing the sharpness of the pollen resting atop its anthers. But what really kicks this into black and white overdrive is the contrast; the dramatic shifts from near total black to the intensity and brightness of near total white. The image runs the grayscale gamut and locks away the final dimension necessary for a fine low key finished product.
Oh, and check out this post if you’d like to learn more about the anatomy of a hibiscus flower. This will help clear up some of the flower parts I referenced in the paragraph above if you’d like to further your learning. The post features some solid macro photos, too! Related: I can’t believe this is the first hibiscus photograph I’ve posted in the now two and a half year history of this website. I would have definitely lost that bet…
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