Abstract Grass

(Camera: Nikon FG; Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8; Film: Kodak T-Max 100)

One of the aspects of black-and-white photography I enjoy the most is that, with the slightest adjustment in composition, you can turn the most ordinary subject into something beautiful. And what could be more ordinary than a bunch of dried grass that had sprung up in a neglected flower pot? Yet, framed this way and photographed in full sunlight against a dark background, the subject becomes abstracted just enough to begin to part ways with “reality.”

This is a scan of a print I produced last night. The main challenge in the darkroom was to make sure the background printed absolutely black without the subject losing its highlight detail. Indeed, the image would have lost much of its impact if even a hint of the background showed through. A little judicious burning and the selection of the correct contrast filter took care of that.

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