fade to black

June 06, 2016  •  4 Comments

The expression "fade to black" has been in English usage for at least a century.  The heavy metal band Metallica used it for a song title, while others seem to think it fits committing suicide or the end of life.  In movies, directors would say "fade to black" to indicate the end of a movie or scene.  In photography, fade to black is a beginning,  a way of interpreting different intensities of black, white, and grey.  It is of particular interest to me to see how different colors in nature become more subtle or intense in black and white.

Blue is one of those elusive or intense colors that is sometimes difficult to capture on film or as bits of digital information.  The wild iris shown below has at least ten different shades of purple and blue, and adjusting those in a black and white image is both fascinating and challenging.

wild iris - black and whitewild iris - black and white


The same is true for the very open petals and center of the blue flax flower. 

fade to black - blue flaxfade to black - blue flax


Flowers that are predominantly yellow seem to offer a bit more contrast between the darks and lights, as demonstrated in this shot of a sunflower along the highway.

sunflower - black and whitesunflower - black and white


Another member of the sunflower (Asteraceae) family - the goatsbeard -produces an eminently photographable (and frequently photographed) fluffy seed head.  Before that happens, it produces a lovely yellow flower with sharply pointed petals.

goatsbeard flower black and whitegoatsbeard flower black and white


The hold of black and white photography remains very tight on me, and occasionally, it will appear in this blog.  Black and white, in all their forms, are incredibly beautiful.

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]


Fred Barraza(non-registered)
The black and white's are great. The goatsbeard is my favorite.
Catherine Sobredo(non-registered)
I too love them all Daryl! They are gorgeous!
Daryl A. Black(non-registered)
Thanks so much, Steve, and congratulations on the crazy turnout at the opening this weekend. A good omen for the summer art season!
Steve Immel(non-registered)
I love them all, Daryl. I don't why I prefer flowers in black and white except the monochrome displays the design of each frame and is more delicate somehow. The black and white makes me study each lovely image more closely. Absolutely beautiful!
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