From my time of hiatus: I make a friend in Arctic Village and now I can't remember his name; a color vs black and white experiment
It had been my intention to run a series of fiddle dance pictures that I took in the Gwich'in community of Arctic Village on the night of August 15, but there are a lot of images, it is late and right now I do not feel like I want to spend another hour or two or three to narrow them down, convert them to black and white and post.
But I saw these three, right together, so I am posting them all by themselves. I feel a bit like a fool, because I cannot remember the little boy's name and we became quite good friends during my short stay in Arctic. We were housemates in fact.
Our first night together, I pulled out my iPad and showed him a children's picture book that I put in there for Kalib and Jobe and some day, for Lynxton too. He had no experience with an iPad, but he figured it out just like that. He was turning pages and making little men hop into the air, shoot arrows, flip coins and do all kinds of things.
When he came to the dance the next night, he spotted me and came running right over.
If anyone sees this who knows his name and can send it to me in comments, I will add it in.
Trouble is, internet service is not very good in Arctic, but the school and the tribe have wireless and I think there might be a couple of other spots, too. So maybe.
My little housemate who figured out the iPad just like that draws nearer.
And here he is!
Now, a little experiment:
I told you that I needed to convert the pictures to black and white. This is because the light in Tribal Hall was not good and in my pictures the colors all look pretty dingy - even after I process them in Lightroom and photoshop.
As I shoot everything RAW, I always start out in Lightroom, where I make my conversions to jpeg or tiff, depending on what I am outputting for. I also do my initial adjustments for color, tone, contrast and such.
In this case, the first adjustment was to convert to black and white, as I had given up on the idea of getting good color.
While a single click of the mouse will convert color to black and white, it seldom looks very good at first. So you have to tweak the image and it can take a fair amount of work and time to get the black and white to look the way I want it.
In fact, I have never totally succeeded. I have been able to make digital black and white conversions look as good as the Tri-X and T-Max films that I used to shoot almost exclusively.
After I had converted the last image to black and white in Lightroom, I accidently clicked color and so it changed back to color. I was amazed, because the adjustments I had to make it a fairly decent black and white brought out the color in a new way.
It didn't make the color look natural, but it did make it vibrant, more saturated.
So, as an experiment, I decided to run this little series both ways - black and white and color - and then see which I like best.
I don't know. In some ways, I still like the black and white better.
But in some ways, I like the color better. Take the dancer slapping his head in the background, for instance. His hand stands out much better in color. Of course, if I had spent a little more time working on the black and white, I could bring that hand out better than it is right now.
I'm not asking readers to give me an opinion, because then I'd be embarassed if only two or three people did, but if two or three of you want to give want to give me your opinion, I will be grateful.
As usual, anyone who wants to see the images a bit larger can click on them or view as slide show. They look much better in the slide show - particularly if your screen is large enough to view them full size. Whatever size your screen is, they will automatically adjust to fit it.
Trimble Gilbert was the master fiddler at this dance, and I will come back to it and him on another post - maybe tomorrow night, but another possibility is cooking in my head.