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Atmosphere: The Beauty of Black and White

October 28, 2010

This is a beautiful short video- lots of atmospheric light and dark, shadows and suggestions. Memories, faint stories. Sometimes it can be ominous to enter an abandoned place, but sometimes it is wondrous to imagine the people, places and things of the past. Seeing it all in the stark contrast of black and white makes it even more ancient and foreign. Questions about what took place, where and why, only add to the beauty. As I heard on Art 21 from photographer Sally Mann, “If it doesn’t have ambiguity, don’t bother.” (Fittingly, she shoots in black and white using a 100-year old 8 x 10 bellows view camera.) I believe the same is true in design. You need at least one spot in any composition that stands out, that poses questions and pops a little surprise; something unexpected no matter how small. A little imperfection. That’s why I love the concept of wabi sabi. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

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