Yes, isn’t it interesting indeed how certain images affect us.  Below are two versions of the same photo (which happens to be the view from my current production office window in Providence, RI).

            Though a decent composition with a sort of 70’s vibe, for the most part the color original leaves me as cold as a stone.

            Yet the somewhat bleached out B&W version evokes an array of complex feelings and impressions.  I can’t really articulate them but they’re akin to what’s stirred by my favorite British Kitchen Sink films.  Who knows why, but it has always been that way for me.  Every so often something I see grabs me for reasons unknown. I spent almost the entirety of my scholastic career staring at the light and shadows that creased the classroom walls, so there must be something to it.

            I’ll bet that’s a quality all cinematographers share.  Certainly it’s one of the main reasons I do what I do.  I’m a very lucky guy…


5 thoughts on “ISN’T IT INTERESTING?”

  1. I always feel that B&W images stir my imagination in a unique way. Somehow they activate my memories and emotions to fill in the story. Yes, you are indeed a lucky guy!

  2. I love how we can alter the world we perceive by manipulating images.
    I always found this extremely fascinating and the main reason why I’m obsessed with cinematography.
    If we think about the fact that color don’t really exist per se, as they are merely a frequency, but our brain created a visual map to let us “see” the world, then the concept of “seeing” becomes very subjective.
    Black and white images for example, being stripped out of their colors, lead us to focus on the other aspect of how we see the world: through shapes.
    Colors and shapes, this is how our brain interprets everything we see around us. Colors and shapes are the basics of cinematography. Cinematography decides what our brain interpret what it sees.

  3. The b&w version is more timeless, which provokes a broader range of impressions, it’s less tied to the here and now.

  4. B&W has always inspired me. Perhaps for all the reasons noted here. I find it really stirs something in me, it often feels more evocative, at least for me. It triggers instant nostalgia, regardless of the subject matter or when the image was made. Perhaps it comes from starting out shooting and printing B&W stills. I find it influences my response to color images too. I seem to be drawn to color images that feel more like B&W.

  5. It is very interesting how a black and white photo is perceived
    versus color. What a great view out your window as a landscape
    composition. It must have been a surprise. I wonder what the steel
    structure was used for. It sure creates a lot of movement in the photo.
    The black and white photo is timeless. It you had not mentioned that
    it was taken recently, I would have thought it was from an early time
    in history, in an old industrial city in the early 1900s.
    Black and white photography always wins out. I guess it creates
    a distinct emotion that’s almost undefinable.

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