The end of last year I discovered Photochallenge.org. This is a small group of photographers who set forth a weekly challenge to other professional and amateur photographers. What I was drawn to with this weekly assignment is that is pushes you to try new techniques and get out and take pictures on a weekly basis. I'm taking part again this year and will also do a quick blog post about each of them. The rules of the challenge do require that these are new pictures, not from your back catalogue. With my busy work schedule, I may not be able to get out each week and do this, so I will likely add a few of my older photos on the blog--taking the opportunity to look at the plethora of pictures I've taken and actually do some processing and weeding.
2016 Photochallenge Week 9: Entropy Black & White
Last week's challenge was to showcase entropy using black and white technique. Entropy means something different to different people. As a scientist, I tend to see this as more of a scientific principle of thermal energy/randomness, however the more general definition is that things tend to decay into disorder. Or to over-simplify: Things Fall Apart. From a photographic perspective, looking at ordered creations of man decomposing with time and weather is a fantastic subject! I was actually a bit surprised by how many people on the Photochallenge.org Facebook page seemed to be having trouble with the concept this week. I'll admit I tend to look for this type of subject anyway so the challenge was right up my alley. The biggest problem was that this week I didn't have much time to get out and take pictures or explore older areas of town.
1) Peeling Paint. I did get a chance to wander around the quaint and bustling down-town area of White Bear Lake last weekend on a crazy 50+ degree in February--in Minnesota! Most of the city was in good repair, but I found this small store front that that had seen better days. The elements and time (probably 60+ years) had caused the wood trim to warp and the layers of paint to peel up in interesting patterns and textures. It seemed like as good an example as I was going to find.
I did look through some of my older pictures and converted a few to black and white to fit with this challenge as well.
2) Fenceline. This is an old simple wooden fence from up at my family cottage on Otter Tail Lake. I remember climbing on this somewhat low fence when I was young. When I saw it sagging into decrepitude and dissolving into moss and lichen I was struck by what age does to everything.
3) Rusted equipment. I took this in Asheville North Carolina this past summer. I love the deep reds of the rust in the original shot, but wanted to accentuate the textures of the flaking rust and paint in black and white.
4) Smokestack. Probably my least effective attempt this week, but I still like it. In color this is pure bright green with just hints of brickwork poking out. In black and white it is more stark. I loved this ivy covered abandoned building by the train tracks in Asheville, but none of my shots really did it justice.