Before You Color Inside the Lines…


Maribeth Eiken

“If there is nothing colorfully attractive about the photo, make it black and white.”
A very good friend of mine shared this advice with me, not knowing how much it truly changed my outlook on my photos. I was always afraid to capture the essence of a colorfully dull subject. But now, if you restored my photos to their original images,, grays and interesting shadows would turn you away immediately.

Photo by Maribeth Eiken
Biking on the Katy Trail to Roachport, this abandoned mine was hard to miss. There was fresh water sprinkling from the rocks from the night before.
Photo by Maribeth Eiken
The Smoky Mountains have the most glorious greenery, and everywhere you hike the sound of water never leaves you lonely. The trees are your friends and they keep you company in your silence of self-experience in the mountains.
There are subjects below our feet, above our heads, outside our minds and inside our hearts that have a dull appeal to them, especially in our colorful culture of today. Diane Arbus and Henri Carter-Bressen captured interesting images with fast film and darkrooms without the grace of colors. In history, color film was a huge discovery for hopeful photographers, further making photo taking abilities to the next level. I will way, it’s harder to take a well framed, colored and composed photo when you battle with elements such as light and contrast between reds and blues. But, in the eyes of an artist who survives on ancient, 1920 ideals, black and white photos feed my soul more than the latter.
Photo by Maribeth Eiken
Walking around late at night on a summer Tuesday (I believe it was a Tuesday), a chair and overwhelmingly bright light reflect a beautiful soul of a beautiful girl. Needless to say, she’s amazing and addicted to coffee.
Black and white reveals the shadows and taboo ideas behind a photo. I don’t know what I would do without the mystery of a photo that tells a metaphorical story. Besides poetry, the idea of an artistic outlook on the beautiful, untold, and ideas of the mind through a photograph completely overwhelm me.
I don’t know what I would do without photography, the visual outlet of emotions and thoughts left unsaid.
Do Black and White.
It may change your perspective.