Now isn't that pretty? Just, well, perfect? Look… look how the glow streams from the northwest, streaking through the leaves. Look how it startles and ignites the crisp blades down there on the southeastern corner. And see… see the lines in the farmhouse sharp enough to shave a starlet's legs? The hues range from coal black through platinum.
And look how there's absolutely NO MEANING, NO FEELING! There's neither passion nor thought.
When I saw this place I felt its age. Felt an almost spooky aura that built up over maybe a couple of centuries? Felt the way those silos in the west balanced the prosperous size of what may have once been something close to a middle-class mansion. Here was a fruit of the farm.
But… but… the image shows none of that. Instead it's an absolutely perfectly assembled piece of craft. And you know my feeling about that? "Art without wonder," I've written, "is merely craft." Damn… I have the skills to do this and no more… With this thing at least, here's what skill without talent looks like. It's pretty. It's perfect. It glows, it ignites crisp blades… but not ideas or feeling.
It's been so long since I've even considered doing B&W that stripping away color is like… like Joan Rivers' humor stripping away sex. It seems wrong to surgically remove zillions of hues. From roughly 1957 through 2003, my work was overwhelmingly done in wet, monochrome darkrooms. Digital liberated me from those rooms and the prison of two color imaging. Yesterday I bought Topaz B&W Effects 2. It's a delight to use. You can see its power up there, right on that picture I grabbed with my Canon G11 on a recent bike ride. The thing is, that stripping out the color seems to strip away something else: Wonder.