I'm Not Returning to Color

Humboldt Lagoons State Park, CA, 2018

Humboldt Lagoons State Park, CA, 2018

Last post I wrote that I was returning to photography, and shooting color. Then I had an email exchange with a friend where I considered my aesthetics related to architecture. I described myself as a modernist and was asked whether I was a contemporary modernist, as in a minimalist, or a modernist as in mid-century modernism. Both, I answered. With architecture, I prefer minimalism and cubism, but with furniture, I’m a mid-century modernist. 

What do both modernism and mid-century modernism have in common? An appreciation of clean lines. Especially with furniture, I love elaborate, well-defined lines, and I prefer the mid-century look to industrialism or other schools which appreciate graceful design.  

That exchange led me to think about what I love about creating photographs. The answer, perhaps apparent now, is a love of clean lines. While I didn’t start out that way, I’ve evolved. My compositions are welded together by the blacks in my images, which is why black and white photography expresses my vision so well.  After acknowledging my aesthetic values and while working with images in Lightroom, I realized that I needed to continue shooting black and white. It’s wonderfully fun and inspires my imagination differently (not better or worse, just differently) than color does.

One image that has inspired my imagination is Humboldt Lagoons State Park, CA, 2018 which I took on my way home from a trip through California. I’d left Eureka earlier in the morning, where my car was still wet from the late-night rain. Highway 1 was bathed by the beautiful dawn light as the sun was coming over the earth’s brow. The clouds glowed orange in the lagoon's water as I drove by. By the time I returned to take a picture, the sun had risen too high, and the orange reflections had disappeared. Nature waits for no one, and images often appear and disappear within moments. I continued north and came across a pullout that overlooks the sandy beach separating the Pacific Ocean and lagoon. The clouds hung in the air like grazing sheep, waiting for me to take their photograph. There was a slight wind and, as always, I delighted in the smell of salt in the air, and the sound of the waves hitting the shore.

Afterward, I continued on my way to Portland.