Black and White Land and Sea Portraits of Maui

by Douglas Hoffman on October 7, 2021

The majority of people live in a world where color is a common experience. If I were to write a post about the beach on a beautiful Maui day, the majority of people would think white clouds lofting across a blue sky. But, the exact blue would be different for everyone based on the blue in our memories.

If I were to write a post about the beach in Maui, and then show it in black and white many of the people seeing the image would take pause. The reason is all the shades of grey. The transitions of highlights to shadow, and the graduations of grey takes us from the right side or logical side of the brain to creative side. As a result we take a closer look and feel the emotion of image. The rocks create a nice line through the image which guides the eye through the scene and out. The silky water add motion and emotion to the portrait.

Sultry Sunset

The same is true with underwater photography. Most reefs have blue water and when the blue is removed, the viewers interest is widened and they will see the reef in perspective. In this portrait of the school of fish, the background reef, and rubble provide great texture and lines that guide the viewers eye into the scene, through the school of fish, and out on the right side.

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