The power of black-and-white photography

This photograph by Edwin Kats appeared on the A Lifetime Photography website.

1479097_672197656146227_1034319824_n The photo is a wonderful example of the way in which modern digital photography is able to span the divide between realistic and abstract art. The swans in the photo are real swans photographed on a pond somewhere. The black background (or pond) has been Photoshopped. You simply don’t see things like that in nature so the photograph is primarily abstract.

You can interpret it however you like: the balance of darkness and light, line and space, nature’s beauty in a dark world, it doesn’t matter, the abstraction is meant to affect people in different ways.

But that’s what makes it such a wonderful photograph. For me it is the way that the photographer has managed to get a perfect balance between the image of the two swans and their wake and the vast black pond so that the swans not only appear to float on the pond but also seem to be suspended in space.

There is also a beautiful simplicity to the photograph which  I always find appealing.

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