Black & White
I’ve shot a lot of pool in my life. I played competitively a bit, and it was interesting to try to gauge the skill of your opponent by how he or she presented themselves. Something that would always get a rise out of me was meeting a player who had his own very expensive cue and case, a glove, and myriad other accoutrements, that I would proceed to beat soundly. I’m of the mind that your equipment should match your skills, otherwise you can look ridiculous.
So it is with photography, where I’ve waited until I felt my skills justified the investment before upgrading equipment. But even technique or editing gets this scrutiny for me; I feel you should be ready for it. HDR, for example, is a rather advanced tool that can be dangerous in unskilled hands. (For a compelling rant on that subject, see The Idiot Photographer‘s recent post here.) And, though others would disagree, I might put black and white photography in this category, though mainly because I feel I abused it early on. With the recent trip to Iceland, however, I decided to tackle my reluctance head on, since much of that country’s landscape is seemingly made for B&W. Here is an HDR shot that has been desaturated into a sepia tone, as well as other editing tweaks. I think I’ve worked this shot so long I’ve lost the ability to be objective about it anymore; I’ll leave it to the reader to decide if this came out well, or if it is Frankenstein’s monster of photography.