I’m often asked if I shoot black and white. The answer is no, in general. My world is one of color, and while I appreciate both the constraints and liberties of excluding color from an image, I generally prefer the invoked psychological elements that the inclusion of color creates.
But throwing away color opens up some creative opportunities as well, and I’m fond of all imagery that exhibits a powerful use of light and composition. Just for fun, I thought I would play with this photo for a few minutes in Lightroom. It was a pretty quick rendition of the file by reducing the saturation to “0” and then cranking the blacks and contrast. It creates a rich and energetic scene, which in reality, is far more dramatic than what the human eye actually saw.
I took the image while flying with Dirk Nickisch of Coyote Air, as we traversed across the Noatak river valley in Alaska’s Brooks range. If you have followed my blog, you already know that I’m particularly fond of the magnificent Brooks range. If you are open to the idea, it will change your life in just a few glances, through its sheer immensity and wild ruggedness–it is sort of a quick work of self reduction.
When shooting aerials–use a high, high, high shutter speed, reduce wind drag on the lens as much as possible, and isolate yourself from the plane vibration, and shoot a lot of frames.