monochrome

Black and White: My First Love. Images 70-76

Downward Spiral     Downward Spiral, Genesee Lighthouse, Rochester, NY

Genesee Lighthouse, BW     Genesee Lighthouse, BW

Sodus Point Lighthouse, BW     Sodus Point Lighthouse. BW

Watkins Glen, BW     Watkins Glen, BW

Buttermilk Falls, BW     Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, NY, BW

High Falls, BW     High Falls, Rochester, NY, BW

Close Up Flower, BW      Flower in Close Up, BW

When I began taking my own pictures, it was in High School at West Irondequoit High School, during my Junior Year.  My father was an amateur photographer and I had always wanted to give it a try.  When I saw that my high school offered Photography A, B, C and D as art electives, I jumped at the chance (mostly because I cannot draw for beans).  Of course, back in the old days (1988 to 1990), when I was taking HS Photo classes, it was all on black and white film.  I borrowed my mother’s 35 mm Camera, a Fujica, as I did not have a camera of my own yet (I would get my Canon AE-1 until graduation from HS; a gift from my Dad).

We started the class with learning how the camera worked; F-stops, shutter speed, film speed, focus, different lenses, etc…  (BORING!!!!!).  We learned all the basics as well as how to take the exposed film off the roll in a darkroom or in “the bag” and doing all the processing of the film in the can with all the chemicals.  Then we learned how to make the prints in the darkroom and process all the prints; developer, stop bath, fixer, stop bath.  I found myself spending hours in the darkroom, playing around with different ways to expose the image on the paper.  I would spend extra time after school and during study halls in the darkroom, or walking around the school with my camera, finding subject matter relating to the present project we were working on.  I loved it!

The Black and White Image was beautiful to me.  Stripped down; Basic.  More like an Impression; more artistic than it’s color counterpart.  Sometimes surreal; sometimes dramatic.  I loved playing with contrast to make it more interesting; to get the image to “pop” off the paper.  I was actually disappointed when we switched to color somewhere during Photo D.  I felt like I was losing the art of it all and my photos seemed more pedestrian; just like everyone else’s.  I felt like the color robbed all the creativity.

I have since learned to love the color image just as much as the monochrome image.  For quite a while, just because of ease, i took exclusively color images.  Black and White film was hard to find, and getting the film processed was more expensive.

Then, AHHHHHHHHH; Digital came around!!!   Now every shot I take is both color and black and white.

Take a look at more of my Black and White Images at the below websites.  I have an entire album devoted to Black and White on the Instaprints.com site.

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com

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Mt. Hope Cemetery PhotoWalk; Rochester History. Images 49-62

MausoleumMausoleum

textured tombstoneTextured Tombstone

Path to HeavenThe Path

Angel and CrossAngel and Cross

Fallen FatherFallen Father

Fallen Father 2BW Fallen Father

Celtic CrossCeltic Cross

Head(less) in the CloudsHead(less) In The Clouds

Headless in BWBW Head(less)

Fallen FenceFallen Fence

Sibley CrossSibley Cross

Sibley BWBW Sibley

BrokenBroken

Broken BWBW Broken

I recently joined a group called Western New York Photowalkers.  It is a group that occasionally gets together and does a walking tour, taking photographs, sharing ideas and techniques.  The first opportunity I had to join them was a PhotoWalk of Mt. Hope Cemetery in my hometown of Rochester, NY last month.   A Cemetery.   Great.   Sounds morbid, doesn’t it?  But, the wife and kids were out of town and I had free time, and I hadn’t been out to get any shots recently, so I thought, Eh, What the Hell!  Why not?

Little did I know, it was pretty cool!!  I knew that it was an old cemetery.  I remember going there as a child on a school field trip to see the graves of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass.  I remember looking at it from across Mt. Hope Boulevard when I was a kid when I went to visit my uncle who used to live in an apartment in a house across the street.  I remember my father challenging my brothers and I to hold our breath while passing it in the car.  He would purposely slow down, even though he didn’t have to.  It is huge and there was no way anyone could survive holding their breath while they passed it unless they were driving a Ferrari at 150 MPH.  But, I had never looked at it through the lens of a camera.  It looked like it was going to be a wash earlier in the day, with gray skies and off and on showers all morning.  But, by the late afternoon, the skies cleared and the sun shone brightly, warming the air.

I  spent about 2 hours walking the grounds.  Of course, I had to stop and seen Sue and Freddy again!  I found all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies in the cemetery; little tucked away hidden areas with incredibly old and ornate tombstones.  I saw numerous old, worn grave markers and tombstones, raised words nearly worn off by wind and weather, nearly impossible to read.  I was particularly struck by a small white headstone, perched on a hill just above the path, leaning over to the left.  It looked like in another couple of years, as the hill eroded away, it would tumble down onto the path.  It had a name and 2 dates.  the dates were only 3 months apart.  A three month old child had died in the early 1800’s and this stone was all that remained.

As I traversed the grounds, I found myself drawn to all the Celtic Crosses that dotted the landscape; I have Irish in my heritage and have always been attracted to them.  There were tons of huge monuments and statues in various stages of decay.  Some were missing limbs, some had fallen over, some were cracked and broken, some even looked as if they had melted.  There was a strange beauty to it all.  Above are some of the shots I took.  I hope you enjoy them.

http://www.justin-connor.instaprints.com

http://www.twenty20.com/justinconnor

http://www.viewbug.com/member/justinconnor

http://www.judd-connor.fineartamerica.com