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Snow Makes For Good Black and Whites

Black and White photography is still a realm in which I enjoy working but honestly frustrates the hell out of me. Perhaps it has something to do with my age and not growing up around black and white photography enough. Maybe I haven’t studied the great black and white photographers enough. Whatever the reason, I don’t practice that form enough because I enjoy the world of color so much. But in the winter months opportunity does present itself on many occasions where black and white is the best option.

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Yesterday I went out on a drive towards the Spanish Peaks in search of critters and while I found some, the bald skies and bright sun made photographing them a bust. While it is doable in the winter time, the snow acting as a reflector, backlit animals still doesn’t work for me. The landscape on the other hand was kind of interesting. I broke from my norm when it came to lenses in part because I had the 200-400 VR and D4 on my lap ready when I found that critter. Using the longer focal length and narrow field of vision I was able to isolate the parts of the scenery that looked the most interesting. Notice there is no sky. Bald sky is a killer in most cases and this one definitely proved that theory. The finish was a simple conversion in post. Black and Whites thrive if they have those two main ingredients, black and white. In Winter it’s easy to find both but getting the right contrast in the rest of the elements is where the challenge lies.

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