shades of gray


I love black and white photography and film. The different shades of gray leave plenty of room for imagination. The sense for texture is heightened in the absence of color.

When learning manual photography, one of the challenges is to find the medium gray in order to balance the aperture and shutter speed setting. “So how do you know what should be gray?” a friend asked. In most scenes, you’d find a full spectrum spread from very dark to very light. The challenging situation is when you have something really bright and really dark in the scene but nothing in between, such as sunrises or sunsets. The trick is to bracket the bright and the dark. It’s really hard take wedding photos for that reason. The bride in white while the groom black. You can have it too overexposed or underexposed.

I was playing around with the idea of shades of gray between extreme black and white using my magic 8 ball on my white bed sheet. Besides black and white, you can see textures, from the harsh light reflection to the soft plushy transition of the cloth. So rich.


This is perhaps my least photographed year since none of the boys I met has offered to take pictures for me yet. (Erik doesn’t count because he’s hitched.) I had done a lot of self portraits from a mirror. Today, I finally got around to take some self portraits with my newly purchased remote control. It was a lot of fun. I got to delete all the bad ones and keep only the ones I like, and not a single soul except me knew about it. heheh :)


I’m beginning to embrace the idea of “gray” lately. Not everything has to be black or white. What doesn’t seem black or white might actually be the optimal outcome. While driving Mom home from the airport yesterday, we started talking about our family history of low blood pressure. She said we all have low BP of 90/60. I said yes, I used to have that. But lately, it’s been 110/70. She exclaimed, “OMG, that’s not normal. You are too high.” “Of course that’s normal. 90/60 is normal, 110/70 is normal as well.” After a couple of exchanges, I suddenly remembered Mom’s tunnel vision that anything unexpected or unlike her is imperfect. So I shut up and just let it go. I never got around to telling her they are just numbers. It’s not absolutely good or bad as long as you are in the normal range. What’s even better is that I don’t have to complain about being cold all the time any more. All thanks to my extra BP. :)

This entry was posted by Maya.

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