Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Colorless

Most of my photos are in color. Most of them are vivid, vibrant and loud and only a small percent of my photos are in black and white. At times I feel that these colorless photos have lots of stories to tell and are more accessible to relate to. Maybe because colors can be distracting and may lead your eyes away from the story. Life itself is basically black, white and grey. Splashes of colors depend on our palettes.

As Ted Grant says : “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!” 

Of course, I will still continue taking photos in color and may convert some of them to black and white.

bulb

Colorless

black coffee with milk
stains on the sink, polka dots
snow falling outside

 blur of city lights
two transparent umbrellas 
separate train routes

 a flickering bulb
hums of leafless trees, footsteps
on empty car park

 three-colored rainbows
 in grey, black, white paradise
of color-blind spirits

 /totomai 

Even though I have thousands of colored photos, I decided that my first photo book, “Filtered Precipitates”, to be in black and white. 

This is a special post in reply to a special prompt in D’verse. Can’t wait to read the poems and hope that my photos serve as temporary muses. 

 /totomai 
2015/01/20

67 comments:

  1. I like the texture of the photo. More black and whites please. :)

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  2. Totomai, I agree with you about black and white photos. I think black and white photos force a person to consider the shapes rather than paying attention to the colors. And you do some excellent blacks and whites. I enjoyed your haiku. I think my favorite is 'blur of city lights.' I can really picture that scene. And then again, as I am drinking coffee right now, your first one speaks to me.

    I really enjoyed featuring your photos over at dVerse!

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    1. Thanks Mary. I enjoyed reading the poems. such a different experience. this was also a great chance for me to remember the photos i have taken since i started photography. thanks.

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  3. Black and white and even crazily processed and damaged photos sometimes carry the soul even more. Even sometimes landscapes are more interesting in black and whites.. The imagery of the flickering bulbs in you third haiku was for me very vivid and somewhat scary as well.

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    1. i agree with you, each photo has a soul and yes, landcapes in black and white bring you to another dimension

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  4. Yes, we see different things in a black and white photo. I started with black and white but have not taken any for years.
    Totomai you are a great photographer, whatever type of photo you take and I had a very hard time choosing a photo.
    I liked your series of haiku, but the first one is my favorite as it resonates with my morning experience.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Gabriella. Winter to me is a black and white photography 😜

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  5. Amazing photography! I agree with you... it seems when you remove the aspect of colour from things... you remove that distraction and the viewer tends to search deeper, then, for more... it's an incentive... smart!

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    1. though sometimes, colored photos shall remain as they are

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  6. cool visuals in that opening...i like the contrast between the coffee and the snow...and the stains in the sink....the second has a cool story behind it....really nice on the micro...thank you for lending us your pictures today...i have fun traipsing through your album...and i already have another ready for tomorrow....

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    1. i also find the conversation up front on the use of black and white to capture the souls of people to be very interesting...i have always loved black n white just for this....

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    2. thanks Brian, can't wait to read your other poem. black and white photography is always a challenge and need second look to be noticed.

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  7. that is a cool quite by ted grant... and your haiks just fit the black/white sharpened focus so well... great images with well chosen contrast... so cool
    and thanks for allowing us to write to your awesome pics!

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    1. my pleasure Claudia especially if these photos can serve as muse :)

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  8. That image is fascinating - your use of the '3-colorer rainbows' mean we are free to see the shape and focus you have framed in the image. It works!

    But I also love the jewel-bright colours in many of your images and enjoyed the shift of perspective I experienced when writing to one of them today. Thanks Totomai!

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    1. you're welcome Becky. some of us are living in 3-colored paradise :)

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  9. So good to meet you, to lounge through many of your images, to enjoy your haiku. I chose the bell tower at Hilongus for my poem. I am a bit of photographer myself, & when I post them, I always post first the color version, then the B&W to show the immense contrast; often preferring the B&W image.

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    1. nice meeting you too Glenn. i am always excited in the outcome after conversion of color to black and white

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  10. I specially love that last one, the three colored rainbows ~ But there is color in those black and white, even more dramatic than colored ones ~ Love your pictures ~

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    1. Thanks Kabayan. i agree, since black is the result of combination of all colors

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  11. Your words and your images are beautiful, Totomai and congratulations on your book! YAY! I chose your photo of apartment windows, because I am so fascinated by the idea of how a life story lives behind each one. So I smiled when I read how your black and white photos have stories to tell. Yes, they do. I have a special fondness for the old black and white photos from my parents' day - somehow they tell such big stories when seen from the distance of time and memory.

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    1. yes time and memories - reasons why i like black and white photos. i reaf your poem Sherry and wished i know my neighbors.

      Thanks for encouraging me to write a book

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  12. i do like your colored photo... this was lovely too

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  13. Wow, I love the quote about color and black and white..so true. Your haiku make great companions for your photography. You have an eye for the unique that sets your work apart from others...all the photos lend themselves to several different meaning.

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    1. im humbled by your words Kathy. thanks.

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  14. Lovely post Totomai. I especially like the last poem. My husband too really appreciates the intensity of black and white photography. I do too But all your photos are so artistic an pleasant to view.

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    1. guess all of us have biases for black and white photography. thanks Myrna

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  15. Amazing photography, this one really appeals and wonderful haiku.
    Thank you for the inspirations!:)

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    1. thank you too. i am enjoying reading the poems :-)

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  16. I have been waiting for an opportunity to use these snaps of yours which I kept from last year.
    Love your poetography !

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    1. Feel free to use them Cressida. I am more than happy.

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  17. Thank you for the inspiration. Your collection of photographs is wonderful.

    I loved the imagery in your words... Your senryu are indeed beautiful, and I especially liked the last one.

    -HA

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    1. Thank you HA. must be the winter effect why i thought everything's colorless.

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  18. This is wonderful, Totomai--both the photo and the poetry. I enjoy black and white photography, but as a would-be artist, also revel in color. Your photography is so impressive. I could write to it day-after-day. Thank you, once more, for allowing us to partake of it.

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    1. Keep on shooting / painting Victoria and draw inspiration from anything / everything around you.

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  19. wonderful photography! Black and white photos are some of my favorites; something about the lack of vibrant color gives the photo more of a story, in my eyes.

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    1. that's how i feel when i convert colored photographs to black and white. most of the time.

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  20. Hi Sir! Wonderful set of Haikus portraying some familiar scenes that I enjoyed playing inside my head. You photography is superb! Thank you for allowing us to write after your photos. I am more than glad as well to meet another adorable Pinoy doing good with his crafts. Smiles.

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    1. Salamat Kabayan. It's nice to know a fellow pinoy in poetry sites.

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  21. Well, I could not figure this photograph out! I ggot a sense of a thing isolated in a vastness of woven basket or steel. I don't know. But that didn't stop me from enjoying the accumulated black and white (colorlessness?) of the haiku. I love imagining the two transparent umbrellas. (About mine--I'm glad you didn"t mind reliving the moments of "Chase"--that phoetry was muse to me as I thought of one following the other without time for kareoke and dinner in between. Thank you for letting us see all your photoes and write to them.)

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    1. would you believe if i say that is a building taken from below and that is one of their light bulbs. I enjoyed that last sunset / first sunrise activities. My pleasure Susan :-)

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  22. First, thank you for allowing us to put our own words and spin to your breathtaking photos! I absolutely love your word Phoetry!

    Second, the photo maybe black and white but your poem an the photo is far from colorless. You have completely highlighted the beauty the lives and breaths in black an white photos in the poem.

    Bravo!

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    1. Thanks Delaina, I am more than happy to share the photos... I enjoyed reading the different interpretations ... :-)

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  23. There is something intriguing about black and white perhaps it is the contrast that draws us in. Thank you for the use of your photographs. You have some truly stunning shots.

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    1. Full of mystery - black and white photos. Thanks too!

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  24. Thank you so much for sharing your photographs with us to use at dVerse. Lovely haikus too! The one about separate train routes really grabbed me...it was like an untold story of what could have been had the journeys of two souls coincided, but alas, souls passing in the night. Beautiful words for wonderful photographs.

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    1. Yes - that was the image i had in mind...

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  25. Thank you for giving a lovely mixed bunch of inspiration. Excellent photographs and poetry. Haikus have really grown on me, even though I am yet to try them out myself.

    ~Prajakta

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    1. try reading Matsuo Basho for haiku inspiration

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  26. I am a huge advocate of black and white photography. There's by far more 'colour' in black and white than the forced hues we think we should see. http://selmasiri.wordpress.com

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    1. i liked the term "forced hues" especially each monitor varies.

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  27. Black and whites have a special feel and appeal! They don't make them anymore! A book of b/w pics will certainly attract the nostalgic parts of the emotions. Well done Totomai, enjoyed all your masterpiece offerings!

    Hank

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    1. my pleasure Hank :) it was also a good thing to remember some of my older shots

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  28. The muse would not be temporary, Totomai, as your photography is amazing. It was very difficult to choose one....like an ocean of inspiration! :)

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  29. Black and white photos seem more true. Thank you for letting us look at and use your wonderful images.

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    1. no problem viv. such a good prompt, i really enjoyed all the poems

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  30. Wonderfully diverse photographs you have shared with us (and kindly allowed us to share on)! I too am drawn to black and white, to the depth, contrast, detail, neatness of its forms, the suggestiveness of its blurs. And what a great diversity of poetic responses you are getting for each of your pictures! You should be proud of what you 'provoked'.

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    1. I am, Marina. It was a pleasure reading the poems. Some made me think, some reminded me of the moment I took the photo.

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  31. Your photographs are so inspiring, feel a poem with each one, so glad I had the chance to see such beautiful work. Lovely poems as well.

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    1. Thanks Lisa - it was an enjoyable prompt. really.

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  32. We find comfort in repetition
    hold close to texture that grants purchase
    lest the colors overwhelm us

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any thoughts to distill?

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