Black & White 5-day Challenge 14-12-08

Final day of the challenge. Today's theme is structures.

Doing this exercise has been instructive as it forced me to think in different ways about my subjects and exposures. But it didn't deter me from my original thoughts about the sterile debate some entertain between colour and B&W photography.

For me, art is art, whatever the media. Debates between oil vs watercolour painters, photographers vs painters, colour vs B&W or digital vs film photographers bore me. They're different media, but if the image, or sculpture for that matter, move me in a progressive way, then it interests me.

So what if photographers "just" capture a moment; they still have to choose the right angle, aperture and so on to realize what they have in mind. And contrary to painters, they cannot decide to just add or remove something from a scene (although it is possible up to a certain degree with digital photography, though it's not usually something that I do, by simple choice, not by any sense of superiority or whatever). And while some B&W photographer say that colour is easy, I beg to differ since mastering colour harmonies and contrasts is a never ending quest, and in B&W you never have to worry about a distracting blob of colour in the background distracting the viewer.

I think any self-respecting artists should not only accept the possibilities and limits of their own media, but also those of others, and then rejoice in the expressions of so many different perspectives that fellow humans share. I don't enjoy Magritte's paintings because they are paintings; I don't enjoy Rodin's sculptures because they're sculptures; I don't enjoy Adams photos because they're photos. I enjoy them because they are beautiful and engage me as a human, whatever brush, chisel or camera they used.

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