Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Black & White Wednesday

I was just sitting here thinking about what day it is tomorrow when I looked at the clock and realized that tomorrow is today. Yes, I stayed up way too late tonight. Shame on me. So, since it's Wednesday, I'd better get to posting a black & white or two. For today's post, I dug through my archives on our most recent trip to China - 7 1/2 months ago.

As odd as it may sound, this first image is one of my most favorite images I have ever taken outside of my kids. I love how it makes me feel. How it makes me think. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have pondered the life of this woman, who lives in a small village outside Nanning, Guangxi Province. She was selling something - I'm not every sure what it was - next to all the others that sell their fresh produce and meats that are brought in daily. How many years has she done this? How old is she? What has her life been like? Does she have children? Do they still live in the village? In a small village that has the appearance of such extreme poverty, how long and hard has she worked to earn the gold bangle that she is wearing, and the gold tooth? I know I'm going deep here, but for some reason, these are the thoughts that come to mind when I look at this picture. This was a very hard conversion to b/w and I'm not sure I even got it right, but I do like how it brings out the "grittiness" of the picture, if that makes sense.

China_June2009-2

While looking through my China '09 archives, I also converted a photo of Leila and Kara from our trip. This was taken at the Sacred Way in Beijing. I love these beautiful weeping trees that lined the length of this pathway and thought the texture would look nice in b/w. (You'll have to trust me. It looks better larger.) :)

China_June2009

Pop over to Lisa's blog to see more b/w images!

33 comments:

Wanda said...

Oh my...I can see why this lady haunts you still. There's a whole story behind that picture. Beautiful.

And I love the one of your girls in front of the willows. That's gorgeous.

Dita said...

I can imagine the story as you have of this woman's life. I can also imagine how this image haunts you having stood right there and seen her in person.
She is beautiful.

Your conversion is really gorgeous. I do see the texture and it gives this image even more depth...literally and figuratively.

Likewise, the conversion of the stunning image of your girls is really something. I will take your word that it looks better larger but it looks really amazing just the way it is here too.

Dita

Katy said...

Wow I really love the first photo. It just seems so real and raw.

Your little girls are adorable too! The willow trees really do add a nice touch!

Proud Parents of Halainah Grace said...

Both pictures have a story to tell. But I absolutely love the first picture. One of the reasons I love China so much is everywhere you turn you see old world tradition. I miss China something terrible.

Ellie said...

That first photo is just so soul searching . . . and the way those other two people are in the background - perfect composition - WOW! I love it!

The photo of the girls is gorgeous as well, love the slightly shy look on Kara's face there. The lion and the willows really add so much - just beautiful.

Life with Kaishon said...

That first picture just has me riveted to my seat. I see so much when I look in her eyes. I love it.

Your daughters are so beautiful! I am thankful you have them : ) What a blessing!

Frau said...

Gorgeous photos!

Jodee Leader said...

I would wonder about the first picture, as well. Great black and white pictures!

Ashley said...

Well friend you know how I love your shots!! I agree the texture in the ones with the girls is incredible. I feel that sometimes those things only come out when the picture is converted to B & W:)

Hugs - finally back to school today!!

Sarah @ When two becomes three... said...

Hi Michelle. Totally stunning images today!

Mom2Isabel said...

Wow. That second shot is just stunning. The B+W just emphasizes the character in her face.

Love Letters To China said...

What beautiful photos from China. I love the way the first one looks in b&w. You truly captured its essence.

Jboo said...

Wow -- both of those are beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing.

Janet

The Sanders Family said...

I really like the first photo for all the reasons you explained. I like a photo that tells a story, and makes you think. And it's perfect for black and white.

That second picture is, of course, perfect. How could it not be with those two beautiful girls in it! :)

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

I LOVE your deep thoughts, Michelle! That is something that makes you special. The picture is amazing and I think it is important to stop and ask questions like this because she is one of God's creation and everyone has a story.

Thank you for sharing!

xoxo~
Lisa

Norah said...

Very haunting, if that's the right word even. Love the conversion too!

Courtney said...

Great black and whites. I would love to know the story behind that women too.

My Heart said...

That photo of the lady is gripping! Seriously gripping! and the girls! Gorgeous!

Mei Mei s and Mayhem said...

I love that first photo Michelle. Looks like something you would see in national geographic magazine!

I thought that many times looking back through our China photos and some of the amazing shots my hubby took. Wondering the details of each person story??

Gail said...

Simply stunning. Like you, I love pictures that tell a story and the first one would haunt me too. Every line in her face, her expression, and even the way she's sitting in her chair is beautiful.
Gritty is a perfect word to use, it's the reality of life in China.

The second one is just as beautiful in a different way.

Looking forward to more from you Michelle, you have a gift!

Jaymie said...

You have an award at my blog!

brooke lynn said...

i love pictures like that - where you can wonder where the person has been and who they have become.
thank you for sharing!

Lisa said...

There is definately something there....it speaks of strength, grace, life experience and faith.....

You captured it all beautifully!

You have a lovely family btw! :)

Donna said...

I really love the first photo. Maddy is from Guangxi province and we've spent a good deal of time in Nanning. I often think about many of the same things you do when I see photos like this. What stories she could tell!

Love the pic with the girls too. The texture of the trees behind them really shows off their creamy complexions. And the lion is so cool!

Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

OH MY WORD.....these selections were FABULOUS!! I can see how you are very drawn to that first picture..... I looked at it and asked myself all of the same questions..... what a capture and I think the processing is perfect!!

The shot of the girls......SO BEAUTIFUL!! I love it:)

Thank you for your kind words and support this morning.....it means so much!

xo,

Lisa

Briana's Mom said...

These shots are amazing! The first picture - just breathtaking.

Shawna&Co. said...

WOW! That first one makes you stop in your tracks! I too wonder about the life that she has lived. You can tell she hasn't had an easy life. Very moving...

Missy said...

WOW! These are great images. I LOVE the first one. My fav. pics are ones that make you think. I would love to know about this womans life. Great conversions!

Colleen said...

Michelle...that first picture is really deep. You did a beautiful job converting it to B&W. So much to think about when looking at it...my goodness...wonderful shot!!!
I love the picture of the girls. It's so beautiful!!!! : )

A little piece of 7th heaven said...

Wow..both pictures are absolutely amazing in b&w!!!
I just love both of them..two very different pics..yet both telling a story!
It amazes me because the word verification for this post is chinesp...OMG!

Lisa said...

WOW! I think it is amazing in black and white. I love the other one too.

You know I look at the picture and wonder too.

GREAT BLOG you have...beautiful children and a wonderful post.

Heather said...

Of course I love the one with the girls, but the first one truly tells me a story, a story so incredibly important to our family, your family, their histories...beautiful Michelle...your photos are poetry, sheer poetry.

Love you!
Heather

Robin said...

I love the B&W conversion of the lady in the market. That is a great "story telling" picture! LOVE it!!