Yesterday was not the brightest in Helsinki. The weather made even the new buildings and architecture look like transported from ex-Soviet Union …
This was the view in front of The Finnish Museum of Photography. Two great exhibitions there now, worth to see.
This is an excellent photograph – well composed, contrasting sharply focussed bold harsh geometry with feathery plumes, fronted by the intricacies of nature’s ‘bones’. Black and white is very expressive – sometimes too much so, I think. It makes everything look stark and somehow threatening, even when it isn’t. I recall as a youth seeing colour versions of b/w photos of scenes of Naples’ slums and being astonished that it looked lively, fun and cheerful, still poor, but not threatening, miserable and dirty. Sepia, on the other hand, hasn’t quite the same effect. I’ve often wondered why B/W was preferred over sepia before colour arrived. The expense perhaps?
I love your analysis of the picture and thoughts about b&w photography, Rigby – thanks!
About sepia toning: it was originally a method to improve the durability of the b&w prints, also increasing the costs. Some more info e.g. here: http://www.photography.com/articles/color-light/sepia-toning/
Thanks, Olli, the link is informative. A few days ago on France 2 TV they said that Art galleries are losing customers while sales of photographs in Photograph galleries are rising rapidly. I imagine it’s because most people have no idea what contemporary painting is about, thus it has no relevance to them, but they do understand both the subject and intentions of a photographer – even semi abstract prints. Although Art was my major study and source of income, I have lost all interest in what passes for contemporary painting, sculpture and even some architecture; whereas photography, which I used to consider an inferior medium, I find increasingly expressive, and at times beautiful.
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