The Inner Path of Photography

We yearn for the taste of the sacred…and through our cameras discover it, the world, and ourselves.

Tag: Joel Meyerowitz

Black & White vs Color – Joel Meyerowitz thoughts

This is always an interesting question – to use color or black and white in a photograph?

What are we trying to describe and which does it best?

Check out the recent article and images in the New York Times Lens blog, where they revisit an essay, “A Question of Color” written by Joel Meyerowitz (included in his newest (wonderful, I’m lusting for it) publication “Joel Meyerowitz: Taking My Time.”)

Joel demonstrates his thoughts with 6 images that are in both color and black and white, so you can see/feel/tell your own story of which impacts you more and how.

The image captions are interesting – overall Joel prefers these in color, although originally when they were shot, a few he preferred in black and white.

I’m with him for most, the color definitely telling more of a story to me and the details having more impact – but the last one (#6) I prefer in black and white, and possibly #5 also.

And you?

A Question of Color – Answered

Life as Science Fiction…

Truro, Massachusetts, September 11, 2010

Sometimes life can seem like a science fiction movie – strange and unfamiliar.

This image was shot during a Joel Meyerowitz weekend workshop, where we were pushed to stretch and work outside of our comfort zones. The location was surreal – an abandoned military base, with all kinds of empty and unusual looking structures.

Given a quick 15 minutes to shoot as the sun went down, this was the last image I grabbed as we were called into class.

I’m surprised to like it.  And I like the fact that I’m surprised, as I look and ask “Who is that person who made this image?” It’s so unlike images I have made before.

Photography gives us an opportunity to be in other worlds – visually, mentally, emotionally. We willingly place ourselves there, and although it can sometimes be uncomfortable, we enjoy the play and challenge of living in the unfamiliar and expressing our experience.

May we learn to do the same thing in life. Sometimes the world is romance; sometimes science fiction. If we find ourselves in the science fiction movie, perhaps we can appreciate its weirdness, its unknown possibilities, and make it a good one.

In the same way that we approach the changing world as creative photographers with curiosity, openness and willingness to be uncomfortable, may we be willing to maintain those qualities in the science fiction times of our lives.

Even when situations and circumstances are not totally in our control, we are still the movie makers.

We work with the tools we are given. We remember love, spirituality, creativity, and other qualities important to us that are the essence and beauty of life.

Romance or science fiction, it’s still our movie.


“Photography is about being exquisitely present.”

– “Photography is about being exquisitely present.”

(Joel Meyerowitz, from Phaedon 55 photography book centered around his work.)

(Here’s a review and here’s a link to the Phaedon Store with more information.)

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