Blacks Crossing Photography and Writing | back to my photographic roots

back to my photographic roots

November 19, 2017  •  3 Comments

During the past month, I have been putting together images for sets of prints and cards.  One of the sets will be black and white.  I am calling it Noir/Blanc/Gris, and it has taken me back to my roots in the darkroom, where the only film I developed and printed was black and white.  I loved everything about working in the darkroom, but not having one of my own, travel to and from Santa Fe was a long haul.  It made shooting digital images and rendering them in Lightroom or Photoshop that much more appealing.  It is not quite the same as darkroom work but digital photography has come a long way, and working with images on the computer can be quite satisfying as well.

The shot below presented itself in the morning hours.  Nothing like a shadow on black steel and an adobe wall to make an interesting black and white image.

wood burning stove pipe and shadowswood burning stove pipe and shadows

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is one of the world's most iconic structures.  I took a shot of one of the uprights using Fujichrome Velvia transparency (slide) film while walking across the bridge in 1994, and have always loved it, but never thought in terms of black and white until recently. When I resized the image, I noticed the beautiful art deco elements for the first time.  It is a work of art.

Golden Gate bridge upright, black and whiteGolden Gate bridge upright, black and white

I also reached into the past to create a ghostly black and white rendering of a building on the island of Barbados, probably part of an abandoned sugar plantation.  I almost like the black and white better than the original color image, which, again, was shot on slide film.

sugar mill ruin Barbadossugar mill ruin Barbados


Finally, a lily I had worked with before but this time rather than toning it, made it strictly black and white.   When I was spending six to eight hours a day in the darkroom and shooting black and white, I felt as if I was almost seeing in black and white.  This exercise is taking me back to those roots. 

lily study black and whitelily study black and white

Keep exploring...

until next Monday,


a passion for the image@


Steve Immel(non-registered)
I agree about seeing in black and white and you've done that beautifully here. Wayne is so right about black and white making you look at form and substance and, I might add, values. I like that abstractness of the black steel and adobe wall. There's a softness to it. The art deco detail of the Golden Gate Bridge has a certain luminosity enhanced which is enhanced by the wispy clouds. The abandoned building has wood block print quality to it and the lily is classic black and white. Love them all.
Catherine Sobredo(non-registered)
These images are so strong and beautiful forcing you to really examine the interesting angles with negative space. Very beautiful Daryl! Dramatic!
Wayne Gesterfield(non-registered)
Ah, yes, very nice.
Color is powerful, black and white is dramatic.
Color makes you look at, well the color.
Black and white makes you look at form and substance.
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