I have recently been experimenting with darker tones in black and white photographs. Using images that were shot in broad daylight, I have been processing them with masks and gradients to darken parts of the image. These three images are examples from this processing.
The Rock of Cashel is a popular tourist attraction in Ireland. The proximity of gravestones and the cloudy sky add to the sinister and moody look of the image.
The RC Harris Water Treatment Plant is located in the Beaches area of east Toronto. It is a majestic art deco building that looks much more impressive than its purpose – to process domestic drinking water from nearby Lake Ontario. Water purification is a basic human need, so, perhaps, the “darker” treatment is not in keeping with its altruistic public health goals.
The exterior fire escape is attached to an office building in Victoria. External fire escapes are much more prevalent in other cities, but this is a good example of a simple geometric facade with the fire escape and its shadow dominating one end of the building. Applying a gradient adds some interest to an otherwise monochromatic wall.
When I was involved in silk screen printing over 40 years ago, I always wanted to find ways to reproduce a photograph as a silk screen print (serigraph). There were many limitations in the process, which was very time consuming and required accurate registration of each colour application.
It is now much easier to create images that imitate serigraphs with the use of filters in Photoshop.
In this series, I have used images of stones (carved or free standing) and transformed them into three serigraph prints.
These three buildings are closer to home – they are all located in Canada.
Customs House is an historic building prominently located on Wharf Street in downtown Victoria. It was built in the 1870’s – which is very old for anywhere in Western Canada. The pink exterior blends in nicely with the pink cherry blossoms when they arrive in the spring.
The lighthouse from Prince Edward Island is one of many similar structures located on the island. I love the serenity of this image.
The waterfront industrial building is located on the north shore of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver. It represents a waning marine and logging industry in a growing metropolitan area. Eventually to become another waterfront condominium development?
Each of these buildings has its own individual personalty.
The Barclay and Company Building is shaped like a cube, located on a corner lot, with a single arched opening on the two street facades. I love the juxtaposition of the sole red garbage container, basking in the morning sun.
L’Auberge Ravoux is best known as the last home of Vincent van Gogh. Room 5 in the attic was his final abode. This building is also known as the House of van Gogh.
The farm house in the mist is located near Tarn Hows, which is a short walk from Hawkshead, Cumbia. The image is processed with a soft and hazy filter to help express the mood.
Black and white photography has always interested me, ever since my darkroom days. In the digital world, it is easy to get caught up in colours and vibrance and saturation. By returning to black and white images, tonality and gradients become more important.
The framing of an image has always been important to me. In this series, each image is framed by an arch and/or contains a series of arches. The archway leads you into the image, to discover what lies beyond the frame. From an architectural perspective, it is also interesting to study the differences among the styles of arches – be they gothic, romanesque or barrel vaults.