The photographically inspired ramblings of a hopelessly addicted visual journalist.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Chick Likes Black & White
I have always loved black & white photography, but often i resist converting my digital color files on principle alone. Take this shoot of Jazz legend Chick Corea. I shoot a lot of live music under all different kinds of circumstances. Sometimes the light show is as much a feature of a concert as the artist. I like to be able to present that in all of its colorful glory. However, this show, in the relative small theater (350 seats) of the Gallagher Student Center was not one of the better lit shows i have shot. Let me clarify that this is purely a photographer's problem. If you had attended this show for the musical experience alone i am sure you would not have walked out of the theater saying, "Yeah, the music was great, but that lighting sure sucked!" The lights in a show like this would have been the furthest thing from your mind. But from my perspective, with my ISO cranked up to 4000, it creates problems for digital noise and color rendition that is of absolutely no concern to the general music fan. I like to think that my abilities would allow me to overcome such problems and for the most part they do, but the quality of the stage lights made my job difficult and no matter how i tweaked my RAW files ugly color tints persisted and skin tones looked odd. I had converted a couple to B&W just for an "artsy" alternative and those images took on a completely different character. The nasty yellow skin tones were gone, the digital "grain" was smoother and somehow the rich, chocolaty, dark brown tonality i chose in my conversion seemed to resonate really well with the somewhat retro subject matter of this classic acoustic Jazz trio. So one by one i kept converting them until eventually i decided that the entire group should really just be represented in black & white. I'm not going to show you the color versions here for comparison. If you check out my social media pages you might find them. But this is my final vision for this show so you'll can just take my word for it, Chick likes black & white.
(please click on images for an enlarged gallery view)