Napa Lights (from the series In Passing) copyright 2007 Douglas Stockdale
I was not sure how the evening photograph of the memorial from Napa would appear after making the color conversion to Black & White. The one thing that I did know is that working in Black & White would provide me more liberties in adjusting the tonal composition without regard to worrying about color shifts.
Now that I have made the Black & White conversion and adjusted the tonalities, I find that this image version does appear more complex, perhaps a little harder to “read” than the color image. For the color image, we have seen so many night photos with the long exposure red streaks, that most know how to interpret this partial reality. We don’t retain the tail light streaks when we see at night, somewhat like not being able to see a waterfall over a long duration that will make the water looks like a soft plastic.
I have now decided that this image is probably going to make the cut for inclusion in my series Bad Trip – Sad Trip.
I think I like the black and white better myself. Amazing the difference it makes being in B&W. I wonder what it would look like with just the streaks slightly tinted with the tail lights colors?
Doug, that image just grabbed me and made me stop in my tracks and really think about what you were showing us. It comes across better in the mono version for sure. What a sense of carelessness, of forgotten tragedy, and the transience of life – although I wish I could say that in less pretentious sounding terms…
Julie, I think you said it very well! Thanks for the great feedback on the emotional impact of my image. As you might guess, this is what I am trying to connect with.