As I said the other day… it’s neither grand, nor a bay. It’s a swamp. A marsh. A bog. Calling it a bay makes it sound beautiful… did I mention it’s a swamp? Complete with alligators and snakes and creepy crawlies (oh my!)?
After spraying down with bug repellant (to, um, repel the bugs… the hornets, wasps, and mosquitos), we set out to see the alligators. I ended up shooting over 100 photos. Despite the fact that it’s a swamp, it was a fun place to shoot photos for black and white.
Swamp cypress are lighter in color and the swamp is black. The lily pads floating on the surface of the water provided further contrast in the image. The utter stillness of the swamp bleeds through the image and is almost palpable. We didn’t have a lot of sunlight on this day, but there was enough to create light and shadow in the image as well.
To my eye, swamps are not pretty. They have a plethora of drab colors. Occasionally, there was a shot in color that captured my eye. However, I was fairly certain that if the images were altered from color to black and white, they would suit perfectly. And I was right, if I do say so myself (which I do!).
I love black and white photos when they have high contrast. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to me or anyone who knows me. I love bold colors. I’m forever purchasing and wearing clothing that is bright and bold. I use dark, bold colors to paint the walls (in college my bedroom was a dark periwinkle with snow white trim and my sixteen 11″x18″ frames were a dark rose color creating a highly contrasting yet surprisingly cooperative color palette).
As such, photographs that range from a solid inky black to snow white, with every variation of gray in between, are very appealing to my eye.
My favorite photo of the bunch isn’t actually the large one up top. It’s the second of the two smaller photos down here. I like the balance of the image with the tree trunks to the left and the foliage to the right. It’s clear as a bell and spans the full spectrum of black to white.
When I posted these on FB with the rest of my vacation photos, Jackie did comment on one that even if you make it black and white, it’s still a swamp. Fair enough, but I can still enjoy the study of a black and white image, right?