Monochrome Nostalgia

Hopefully you saw my last post Stormy Sunday about a cruise (short road trip) I took last weekend around Utah Lake near my home.  Anyway, I had taken a few photographs along the way as I was being chased by a rather large thunderstorm.  (Well, that’s how it felt!)

I had made a stop in a tiny little town called Elberta as I just wanted to get a quick photo of my car, the Porsche Cayman GTS, by this old abandoned gas station at the crossroads of UT 68 and US Highway 6.  All the “car guys” in Utah know about this photo stop.

It was completely empty – just me!  I jumped out of the car, grabbed my camera out of the back, and as I turned around I was totally awestruck!  The western sky was just this brooding, ominous dark, heavy bluish gray.  My first thought was, “Well there goes the nice wash and wax I did last weekend.”  But, I kept looking at that onerous sky, and then I thought, “It would be really cool to get that sky in the car photo.”

So, I walked around looking through the viewfinder trying to compose a scene with the old Sinclair building, my car and that foreboding oppressive sky.  This is what I shot.

Elberta Storm 1 wp

I thought it looked cool, but when I was processing my images (I always make a few tweaks and minor adjustments) in Photoshop Elements, I just wasn’t feeling what I felt when I took the shot that morning.  I mean I could feel the cool, damp breeze, and I could smell the rain in the air.  While I was there, I bet the temperature dropped a couple of degrees.  Yes, I was a little disappointed with the image.

But then I decided to see what this composition looked like in black and white. Elements has a pretty cool black and white conversion tool offering a handful of different looks — vivid landscape, infrared, portrait, urban landscape, etc.  You can also manually adjust the reds, blues, greens, etc. to give the black and white conversion quite different tonalities. I settled on the infrared, and then I adjusted the contrast up a little more as that usually seems to work well in monochrome.

Now, that is what I was seeing and feeling!  What a difference removing that color made.  Wow!

Elberta Storm BW wp
The final image in its proper monochrome.

The monochrome makes those dark, brooding clouds feel so much heavier.  The image almost looks 3D.  And my white car really pops as a nice contrast to the old Sinclair building — a nice juxtaposition of hard lines and soft tones again soft lines and hard tones.

I just wanted to share my thought processes with you about this photograph.  Sometimes to get what you want out of an image, you need to go back, way back to the basics — good old black and white.

Thank you very much for stopping by my blog, and I hope you enjoyed my little nostalgic mind trip.  Oh, yes about 30 minutes or so later, it just poured.


2 thoughts on “Monochrome Nostalgia

Comments are closed.