Painting with Light

Although I originally called my blog Where the Darkness Begins, to reflect the often dark themes of my writing, this revised blog is mostly about photography, which is nothing more than painting with light. The example above was taken at Portmeirion. On flickr I most often post photographs from my ever-growing collection of old photographs rather than my own work. No wonder then that I prefer to work in black and white rather than colour. (That’s not to say I don’t do colour work too).

For me there’s something much more mysterious and dreamlike about black and white photography than there is with colour photography. The fact that you are painting with light is made all the more obvious in monochrome. I also find that I am more inclined to make actual prints of monochrome photos than I am of colour photos. This is especially true when it comes to A3 prints where a good print will yield far more detail than can be seen in most colour prints and certainly more detail than can be seen on a computer screen.

Portraits always seem to work better in black and white, like this studio photograph of Arabella. Have a look at Best Portrait Photographers for some more examples – there are one or two colour photos but the majority are in black and white. I’d add Robert Mapplethorpe to the list but be careful where you point that browser if you go looking for his work!

Here’s another one of mine, a personal favourite. This is my step-daughter Kate descending the stairs at Caulke Abbey. It’s the contrast between light and dark that make it for me.

Here’s Kate at Caulke Abbey again but this time I’ve accentuated the light. Most of these photos have had some adjustments made using Nik Silver Efex Pro, the software I consider to be the most essential to have for black and white photography. We nearly lost Nik when it was  acquired by Google in 2012 and development ceased.  However Nik Collection was acquired from Google by French software firm DxO in late 2017 and since then it has continued to be developed and improved.

Without darkness there is no light. Without light there is no darkness