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photo of the day – blue and salty

The Bonneville Salt Flats, bordered by hills to the north, stretch out as far as the eye can see. If you didn’t know you were looking at salt, you might think it was snow. The first day we went out to scout and photograph, the skies were blue and partly cloudy, and the salt was still wet from rains earlier in the week. I managed to make a few images of the landscape before I was put to work as a voice-activated light stand.

As you might have noticed I am posting quite a few black and white images. I wanted to include both the colour and the black and white versions to see which one people prefer. I’m curious, what do you feel when you look at each of these images?

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14 Comments

  1. Julie
    July 6, 2011

    Hi Sabrina

    Great to see you’ve had a productive trip – those salt flats look desolate but inviting. Your last 3 posts capture the spirit of where you’ve visited. As visual art the black and white photographs win hands down for me. They provide me with a better opportunity of objective observation of the beauty of the place. I’m drawn to the greater contrast in the black and white although I can’t help enjoy the blue skies which are a total contrast to the white salt plains. I can see how being in such a vast and seemingly monotonous landscape it would take heaps of patience to find the perfect photograph with so many elements to bring to bear and have visual impact.

    I love the notion of a voice activated light stand. I could have done with one of those myself last week!

    Reply
    • Sabrina
      July 8, 2011

      I’m available for hire as a VALS especially if it means I get to visit you, Julie!

      Monotonous is a good way to describe the landscape. I saw an image from the same location photographed a week before. It was much more interesting before the rains came. By the time we arrived it was just wet salt and a few tire tracks.

  2. Iza
    July 6, 2011

    They both evoke totally different feeling. The color image with incredibly blue sky makes me think of lazy vacation on the beach, makes me feel relaxed. The black and white is more artsy, more dramatic, the dark sky contrasts with white sands. It makes me feel a bit uneasy, the dark skymand light earth, for the lack of better word, are not natural.

    Reply
    • Sabrina
      July 8, 2011

      Kudos to you Iza! Although the skies were blue, there was a storm coming in just behind those mountains. I think you might have some special psychic abilities to have seen them in the black and white image. I’m very impressed!

  3. Charlene
    July 7, 2011

    I had to look at them both for quite a while before it hit me – This is going to sound left of centre, but anyway: with the photo in colour, i feel as if i’m there myself, looking out at the flats, that you’re not interfering (too much, anyway) with how I view/feel about the scene.

    With the black and white photo, I get a clear sense that I am looking at the salt flats through your eyes – via your interpretation, your intention… your vision, essentially.

    I think the lack of colour is making me depend more on your framing and exposure choices to interpret the scene. The color one makes me draw on my own experiences in similar places and run with it. Because it is your image, I arrive at the conclusion you want me to anyway, I just take a completely different circuit with each photo.

    Reply
    • Sabrina
      July 8, 2011

      Very interesting thoughts, Charlene. Blue has always had a feeling of detachment for me although sometimes there is such a thing as happy blue (more red tones). I am finding more and more that I can convey an intimacy in black and white that seems to be more difficult for me to do in colour.

      I very much appreciate your comments!

  4. Erin Wilson
    July 7, 2011

    This might not be a fair observation, since I tend to be bent toward black and white.

    But fwiw… in the colour photograph, because much of the scenery are neutrals, it’s the blue sky that speaks. The sky becomes the subject for me.

    In the black and white photo, it is the shapes that speak. The contrast between the fuzzy clouds and sharp hills. The seemingly perfect ‘flatness of the flats’. The gorgeous tones serve to reinforce shapes and the sense of contrast. I really like this image.

    Biased. But whatever 🙂

    Reply
    • Sabrina
      July 8, 2011

      Well Erin, you are my black and white buddy, aren’t you? I too, am partial to the black and white. I thought though I would put both up and see what others thought. Thanks as always for your comment 🙂

  5. Don Thorne
    July 7, 2011

    Hi Sabrina, Don here from Port Townsend.

    Being a long time novice and a short time amateur, but with what I’ve been told all along, having a little bit of an eye for the artsy side of a lot of things. I like both, and you might not believe the angle at which I see these. So here from my RAW point of view…

    Both past and present I’ve had friends that have competed on those flats. So while I see your feelings in both the B&W and color and hearing what the above comments are saying, it only takes a short minute for my mind to add the competitors. So for me the B&W takes me to the past and ,yup, the color with that great sky is “Now”.

    Thank you from a life long “Gear Head”.

    Reply
    • Sabrina
      July 8, 2011

      Hi Don, so good to see you here! I love your take on these two images. It would have been great to have you there with us. Maybe next time?

  6. Nicole Young
    July 10, 2011

    Were you in Utah recently? And you didn’t stop and say ‘hello’? 🙂

    Reply
    • Sabrina
      July 10, 2011

      Believe me, the thought crossed my mind so many times. We were racing against the clock though and so didn’t even make it to SLC. I’ve been promised a return trip but you will be in Seattle by then 🙂

    • Nicole Young
      July 10, 2011

      Well, I’m sure we’ll have a better chance of meeting up when I’m actually in Seattle. That’s much closer to Vancouver. 🙂

  7. always be working | Sabrina Henry
    January 15, 2018

    […] year I took a road trip and saw some incredible landscapes for the first time when I visited the Salt Flats in Utah, drove miles and miles through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, sat wide-eyed […]

    Reply

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