Right now, I’m in a black and white state of mind. I don’t know what came over me. One second, I’m playing around on Lightroom. Another second passes and I’ve converted a whole set of photographs to black and white and I’m just staring at them.
I find it interesting that taking away color centers one’s focus on other attributes. Contrast, light and texture stand out so much more in the absence of color.
Black and white photography was once at the cutting edge, just like cave paintings, oil paintings and other forms of expression or documentation. Today, it’s a creative tool. I can easily take any photograph and run it through my own black and white filter. I wonder what traditional film photographers think about the creative freedom that digital photography provides.
Nowadays, everything is photoshopped, altered and enhanced. So much so that some people think that photographs can have more value when they are left unaltered. Just look at all the people that use the #nofilter hastag on Instagram.
I personally think that photography is a form of expression like any other art form. The artist should be allowed to do whatever they like. Only the ignorant think that photography is some objective form of documentation. If it were, we would all be carrying around color charts and scales like crime scene photographers.
Let’s get back to the photographs. These are all photos from a family trip to Phoenix last summer. Obviously, they are all in black and white. The rest of the post will be light on words and heavy on photographs. I’ll let them speak for themselves.
The occasion for our visit was my cousin Anitha’s arangetram. If you don’t know what an arangetram is, read this. It’s a huge milestone in an Indian dancer’s life.
The event was extremely well put together. I can’t start to imagine the amount of time and effort it took from friends and family to plan and run it.
My sister Chithra is one of the most emotional people I know. I don’t mean it in the slightly derogatory way that most people use it. I mean that when she is happy, she is really happy and when she is sad she is really sad. She is the furthest from the normal zombie-like people I meet day to day. It’s what makes her amazing. The following two photographs are proof. They were only taken 4 seconds apart!
One of the main benefits of family events at this scale is the time we get to spend with family. As time has gone by, we have become scattered all around America. It’s events like this that bring us back together.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
The four of us spent a day by ourselves (it’s rare considering that the four of us are split across California, New York and Texas). We stopped by a park in Scottsdale to view the model trains and take a walk. I’ve always loved vehicles like planes, cars, and trains and models. Anything that brings those two things together is a home run.
If look closely, you’ll see that the movie showing at this tiny drive-in theater is “Attack of the Giants”, starring my father and sister.
The Voigtlander VM-E Close Focus Adapter that sits between my Sony a7 and my Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.4 lets me get much closer than I could before while still maintaining the compact form factor I love. The shot below wouldn’t have been possible without it.
We walked around the park around sunset and the lighting was amazing. I have only started to understand how much environment and lighting affect my enjoyment of the photographic process.
We ended the night with dinner at Sumo Maya, a Mexican-Asian fusion restaurant in Scottsdale. I’m going to reserve judgement for now. The vegetarian options were limited. So, I don’t think we weren’t able to try a wide enough sample of their offerings.
My lovely mother
A rare self portrait and my sister