George At Weldon Springs


Man standing in prairie 

Wissmiller–5.jpg, originally uploaded by Jeffrey Jones.

For the start of the new year I will share my thoughts on my favorite pictures I took in 2010…in somewhat of a chronological order.

George and I have been friends for years but we don’t see each other much. But, one day he called needing pictures for his political campaign for public office. He has interesting facial features, given his intense eyes and rambunctious brows, so this was a treat for me. We shot a number of pictures in various locations at Weldon Springs and had a good time.

This picture isn’t the type of photo one posts on the website for political campaigns. But it is the type of picture photographers create/take because it answers to that inner muse. Often, among the many pictures we take for the customer, there are some we take for ourselves.

There are two reasons that I chose to do this photo in black and white. The first answer I would give is that the aesthetics which a monochromatic pallet give and that treatment compliments this particular photo the best.

There is, however, a hidden reason, one used to cover up mistakes or hide problems as they relate to color. You cannot tell from this shot, but the sun was rapidly setting and as the sun goes down it produces very warm, orange light. The kind of light that gives a feeling of life and vitality. On the opposite side of that warm orange sun is a perfectly blue sky. We think of the sky as a passive background not as a light source, but it is a light source like the sun, just much less intense. At this time of day the sun was at a very low angle shooting orange light at his face but the blue light from the sky was reflecting off his head. There was no way to easily color correct for a head that is partially orange and partially blue. So the simplest answer was to remove the color entirely.

Had I caught the problem as I shot, I still didn’t have the equipment nor the extra hands to correct for it. But even so, I am well pleased with the result. And who knows, even if the color balance on his head was right, I still may have converted it to black and white anyway.


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