Flower Mandalas

Flower Mandalas

‘Black and White Thinking’ in Shades of Gray

Pink Hibiscus II (sepia)
Click here to pop up the original Pink Hibiscus II
I’ve been experimenting with applying old photographic techniques to new, digitally created images and am curious to know how they compare, from your points of view. My own sense is that the architecture of the image is clearer, and there is a kind of quietness to the image that comes from the faded-brown look, but I’m interested in your responses, either here or in the Flower Mandalas Project group.
Then I got to thinking about how black-and-white photography can sometimes enable us to see more clearly the composition and feel the emotion of a scene. It distracts us from what we most immediately know about the subject — that blur of color — and forces us to look at what else is there. And I got to wondering how the clarity that can come from removing the color from an image might apply to other aspects of our lives. “Black and White Thinking” gets a bad rap because it implies we think only of one extreme or the other. But what about “Shades of Gray Thinking,” where we omit the most obvious and see the underlying structure of our lives and our world?
How do you, out there, practice “Shades of Gray Thinking”? Let us know, either as a comment to this post or in the discussion thread of the same name in the Art, Healing, and Transformation group
– David
‘Black and White Thinking’ in Shades of Gray
Art, Healing, and Transformation group
Flower Mandalas Project group

Request a flower mandala screensaver: Fifteen Flower Mandalas
© 2008, David J. Bookbinder

  • Carma

    I like the black and white pic…the image seems to move a bit before my eyes…yet is calming…much more so to my mind than the pink:)

  • Wendy

    I’m all in favor of ‘shades of gray’ thinking…it’s still objective, in my mind, but less rigid. But I don’t know..there’s something about removing the color/emotion that lessens the experience. When I first looked at the black & white mandala, I thought it was beautiful, of course. Then I popped open the pink…ahhh! the same shapes, detail, and the softness & warmth of the pink…a much fuller, richer experience. Love your work, btw!

  • hyperiongal

    I think the black and white photo does reveal the underlying structure better. You can see the components. However, the color photo shows the life of the subject. It gives depth and nuance and the added dimension of being alive. Without the color, you see structure, but diminish the totality. Much like if you dissect an earthworm, you can clearly see all it’s parts, it’s components. And you make it somehow simpler, perhaps even easier to understand, but you no longer have a functioning organism that is alive. That’s the difference as I see it.

  • Linda Bemis

    I can plant flower seeds and watch them grow. This year I planted
    morning glories of a different color and yellow merigold. The sun
    flowers will be planted soon. The birds will be able to eat them.
    In the home,color is important for maintaining moods.

  • Lynne Carr

    If only more people could read about this..

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