[pdx_photo] Parklane Park, In Black and White

2943.When I was out pitcher-takin’ yesterday, I explored a few features of my camera that I didn’t use often. One of them is black-and-white.

Parklane Park is a little triangular park where SE 155th Avenue and Main Street meet: it’s bracketed on the south and west by Main St, on the south and east by a curve of the interestingly-named SE Millmain Drive, and on the north by a vacant lot that was at one time a private airport (Trohs Airstrip) and was subsequently a sand and gravel quarry. It’s a nice little – but not too little – park embedded in one of those secluded southeast neighborhoods where, if you’re lucky, you’ll come by and see a league game of baseball or soccer, and kids are always playing.

The camera I own is a used Kodak EasyShare. Even though the supporting company has largely abandoned this, it’s rich in features and performs the champ for me and, just for fun, I took a couple of black and white pictures.

One (above) was predominantly light, and I let the shadows frame the picture in the second one, below.

When you live in a world of color, you tend to forget what drama a monotone brings to even the most mundane scenes, and you realize why black and white photography still has a place in artistic photography. When I look at such a picture, the brain gets active in a different way; it begins to work at exploring the light and dark spaces, and fills in color based on whim, whimsy, and memory. Color photos do it all for you – it’s all layed out, nothing left to guess at. Black and white, though, draws one into the frame.

There’s dramatic tone in the darks and lights, mystery and intrigue in the way the world has paradoxically been reduced to a shadow of itself while somehow becoming sharper and more defined. Details not noticed before leap out.

An ordinary suburban park becomes an extraordinary parallel world.


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