Our patch of southern Oklahoma just received more snowfall that in the last ten years combined. Our mighty Irish wolfhound Hawken couldn’t wait to romp around in it.
I worked for a short time at The Daily Times in Ottawa, Illinois, in 1988, with a very talented young photographer named Harold Krewer. We often challenged each other to feature photo shoot-offs, and it raised us both up in quality, and it was very fun.
I was the swing-shift photographer at The Shawnee News-Star from November 1985 through April 1988. I was partnered with a talented former Vietnam Air Force member Ed Blochowiak. Between us we made some great images and won some awards. Ed spent his entire career at the News-Star, and, sadly, died just two months after retiring in October 2016.
I had been at The Ada Evening News (now, The Ada News) just six weeks when I photographed the Ada Cougars winning their 15th state championship in December 1988 at Oklahoma State University’s Lewis Field.
Most of the action and trophy photos were published in the sports section that Sunday. I was looking through a box of black-and-white negatives from that month and decided to write my column about scanning film, and scan many of these images, which have not been published since that time.
My readers will recall that after the first hard freeze of the year, Hawken the Irish wolfhound and I expand our walk to include a large area of woods to the west of our home. If we exhaust all the trails in a single walk, which we often do, it comes to about three miles round trip. We are never bored.
For this edition of the Monochrome Challenge, I brought my tiny, seldom-used Olympus FE-5020.
Abby and I rewatched Three Days of the Condor recently, and enjoyed it immensely.
When I was about 16 I saw this movie, starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. Dunaway portrays Kathy, a photographer who gets tangled up in the intrigue. In her apartment, Redford, whose character is Joe Turner, looks at some of her images on the walls; deep, rich, low-light black-and-white images. He remarks that the photos aren’t really autumn, but they aren’t really winter. They are in between – November.
Kathy: Sometimes I take a picture that isn’t like me. But I took it so it is like me. It has to be. I put those pictures away.
Joe Turner: I’d like to see those pictures.
Kathy: We don’t know each other that well.
Joe Turner: Do you know anybody that well?
Kathy: I don’t think I want to know you very well.
This scene made a huge impression on the early years of my own photography.
The Monochrome Challenge continues with these late autumn images.
The monochrome challenge, seeing and shooting in black-and-white, continues.
These image were made with my 2003-era Minolta DiMage 7i in black-and-white mode.
The Monochrome Challenge, in which we shoot in black-and-white only, continues…
I continue with the “monochrome challenge” with these images, all made while walking my Irish Wolfhound Hawken.
After what seemed like an interminable, cold winter, we have experienced some very nice springs days.
This afternoon got its light together at the last minute, as I walked Hawken, our Irish Wolfhound.
In color, it was certainly something. In monochrome, it was definitely something else.
These images were shot entirely in monochrome capture mode, not shot in color and converted later.
I published this to social media recently and got almost no response. This might be due to the Christmas holiday, which is now over. If this interests you at all, I would urge you to share it on social media or create your own monochrome challenge on your web site. If you participate in PhotoLoco, don’t hesitate to post it there.
California-based Photographer Nic Coury recently acquired a Leica M246, a monochrome (black-and-white only) digital camera. He posted some images recently on social media, and they were very powerful, and perfect in black-and-white.
Thinking about this paradigm, I thought about how I sometimes like to shoot in monochrome mode to force myself to see things differently and take my photography outside its usual box.
Here is what I was able to conjure with my Minolta DiMage 7i in monochrome mode, on a recent short walk through the woods behind our home in Byng, Oklahoma…