When I was nine years old, my father put his 35mm camera, a Zeiss Ikon Contina, in my hands, and I fell madly in love. Today, I went back to my beginning, to my roots. Today was about photographing in black and white only. My husband doesn’t know I fell madly in love with a camera. Let’s keep madly in love with a camera between just us. I went outside to empty the garbage and looked in the backyard, and I saw our neighbor’s dogwood tree full of flowers. I said out loud Hello, Gorgeous! I’ve waited a year to see you again. Don’t you move! I will go get my camera.

It was windy today. It was five o’clock, and the sun was beaming with joy. The dogwood petals were translucent and outstanding. The sunlight gave the flowers drama and presence. The flowers swung back and forth like sheets hanging outdoors on a clothesline. I rushed into the house to get my digital Nikon camera and lenses. I decided to use my 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses. Also, I have never used the black and white setting on my digital camera. I will use it today.

I was mesmerized by what I was viewing through my lens. The petals were ethereal, perfection; God’s glory seems fitting to say. As the wind blew my hair into my eyes, I moved it swiftly. I didn’t want to miss one moment of this work of art. I wanted to document every nuance of the petals, leaves, branches, and the inspired blue sky. Although I was photographing in black and white, the excellence of the blue sky revealed open space and depth. I wanted this moment to be subtle, charming, and lovely. I didn’t want to edit too much later. Purity was the goal. I was excited as I wrapped it up; it was like when I shot my first black and white image. I had a rush of joy. 

Get out your camera, film or digital, and shoot black and white only. 


Photo Empress

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