Random confessions: ONE – I frequent numerous wedding photographer blogs. TWO – I rarely feel inspired by automotive photographers. THREE – I remain in a constant stage of confusion and insecurity with my photography.

Wedding photographers are some of the best documentary photographers and “plucking” those special moments.

When I think of automotive photography…it’s like the cars are smiling and saying cheese. It’s staged with off camera flashes. It’s the same angles and the same set of photos. I don’t dislike it.  I understand its purpose but I don’t like photos of people and they’re arms around one another and looking into the camera and smiling…it’s not plucking a sincere moment in time.

This is just me and as I mentioned…I am constantly confused and insecure.

Sometimes I ramble. Ignore me.

Above and slightly below – the righteous work of Jesse Alexander in all its condemned blacks, unapologetic whites and every forgiven grey soul in between. The man can do no wrong in slaying us with sharp bladed imagery. Three images that prove that shooting cars sans-color is timeless and simply…works.

Below – further confusion and the desire to present in black and white when compared to the color counterparts.

I will continue to be confused. Sometimes I think I’m deaf. I don’t hear listen to anyone.

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  1. Gotta love the black and whites. Adds a sense of timelessness.

  2. Marius says:

    Your not rambling. Your just disliking what most people like because most people are not very bright and do not see what you see. Unfortunately for you, you are one of the brighter ones and not content with just running around with a bone digging holes in the backyard all day.

  3. Peter says:

    B&W photos were a out coming of the limited technology when photography was first invented. I rarely find that B&W photos appeal to me. We live in a world of color, and photography should reflect that IMO.

    But that´s just me, and I´m not an artist.

  4. Seth O. says:

    You may want to try and play in black & white for a while. I had a spare body that I put in B&W mode, and didn’t even give myself the option of conversion. I also tried using different colored filters, instead of doing everything in post.

    I like to think that I came up with different ideas because of that.

    In the end though I realized that I liked options. Usually when I have a color picture that isn’t really working for some reason, I try it in B&W.

    You may want to try some of the filtering plug-ins – I personally like the ones from Nik Software, now owned by Google. Their ColorEFEX and SilverEFEX are some of the best out there. They allow you to quickly try different variations…..

  5. Colin says:

    There’s a certain out of focus, a certain distance, a bit more darkness, maybe even a softness that’s in that grand masters work. Your’s, for all of its precision, looks to me to be converted. It doesn’t have that ‘feel’. Idk, maybe you buy a $100 canon a1 and some old film off of eBay and see if you like the feel better. Cheap experiment.
    Also I think that the b&w’s will have to that have people in them too, it would take a really special image of cars for b&w to better.

  6. Bob Tilton says:

    Thanks for the comments gentlemen.

    I would agree that modern digital cameras lack the genuine appearance of analog. New lenses are too sharp and “clinical” as it is often described. Even the third party plug-ins are easily detectable as “modern photography”. I have experimented with the trial versions of SilverEFEX but never followed through with the purchase.

    It seems B&W is a very personal choice. For me it is not so quickly dismissed as a viable means of creating images. In following the various blogs about the Leica Monochrom, there has been renewed appreciation for B&W photography and the Old Masters. Some of these comments do have me considering buying an old film camera.

    As Peter mentioned, we do “live in a world of color” which gives further thought to the last time I watched a B&W movie…Control directed by Anton Corbijn.

    Anyway…I feel a ramble coming on and in the end…to each their own. But from the beginning to the middle, it sure is great to discuss.

  7. Jeroen says:

    Like Colin suggests, get some analog gear. It’s cheap as dirt (compared to digital)
    If you ask around with friends & family, chances are you can pick up some gear for free

    Shooting film is a totally different experience from shooting digital. The limited number of shots you get out of a roll of film makes you think much more before hitting the shutter.
    And there’s no chimping… you’ll have to wait to see if you got it right (yes, coming from digital, you’ll be looking at the back of your analog camera to check your shot).

    It made me realize what a crappy “photographer” I actually am, still, it’s a ton of fun! Give it a try!

  8. Chet Dawes says:

    Alexander’s werk is always a favorite, outstanding.

    I am as conflicted as you Bob, I like color and B&W and it seems each photo might be best in one media or another. There are no universal truths. I also think there is something about appropriateness for the period of the subject which helps. Kodachrome with 60’s-70’s cars is perfect. B&W for pre-war just works! Modern color/sharpness seems best on new subjects. Mix them for fun but it often looks ‘fake’ and that takes away from the art!

  9. Bob Tilton says:

    The problem, I find, with shooting film is that eventually it has to be digitized thus a step in the wrong direction of appreciating analog. You’re leaving it up to your local film developer to be your “post processor” giving up control of the image. It’s like a recording of the original and someone else has “remastered” it. I don’t know if that makes sense.

    But who knows, maybe I will give it a try someday. I did enjoy my Nikon FE2 back in the day for my one required Photography course in school.

  10. Peter says:

    Not to let this go forever, – but naturally you will build a darkroom in your home and develop your film and prints in-house yourself – I did that in my B&W days way back when color meant shooting slides. I had two Konica film cameras and a few lenses, and a fully equipped darkroom in the boiler-room as a kid. As I recall this was some great years…

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