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One of the weird things I enjoy shooting is power lines.  I love to travel, my favorite way to travel (for photographic purposes) is by car (preferably my own), and one of the things I notice when I’m on a road trip is the different sizes and styles of power poles, and the way the wires are attached to the poles.

So while I was driving the back roads of eastern Washington state last September, these unique power poles caught my eye.  For one thing, they’re fluted, and the way the early morning sidelight defined the flutes was delightful.  For another, I found the way the wires are attached to the poles interesting.  Finally, the way the multiple arms at the top of the poles came out at right angles reminded me of the masts and rigging of an old sailing ship, or the trunks and branches of trees.

In this image, I really wanted to emphasize the structure of the poles, since that was what I found most intriguing.  So I decided to make this a black and white image, and I found that increasing the grain gave this photo an almost tactile quality.  Removing the color forces you to notice the compositional elements of the image.

For comparison, I included the color image below.    Notice how your eyes move differently over the color image than they did over the black & white image.  Notice how much more time you spend looking the field of grain and the sky versus the poles in the two images.

Do you prefer the black & white image, or the color one?  I’d love to hear why.  As always, there’s no right or wrong answer.


One Comment

  1. Each has its attractions. The bottom photo has more movement to it, because of the eye being drawn to the changes in colour in the field and the sky. The top photo better represents that suggestion you had of sailing ships, the power lines provide the impression of a regal procession over the hill.

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