I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been playing around with the occasional black-and-white photo lately. It’s hard! I haven’t shot black and white for 40 years, and really, I don’t suppose I was all that good at it in the first place, back when I was a teenager. The darkroom stuff was fun, though.

Anyway, this is a picture of…I dunno. Maybe Mt. Pilchuck? It’s in Washington State east of Everett, more or less, so that’s my best guess. The interesting thing is that this was a terrible photo in color. No matter what I did, it just wasn’t any good. In black and white, though, it’s not bad. It’s still not great, but it’s perfectly respectable.

I’m the farthest thing in the world from a black-and-white nazi. I think most photographs, just like most paintings and most movies, are better in color. But sometimes black and white really is better, usually in cases where the colors are subdued and relatively uniform, and therefore do little except to draw your attention away from the play of light and shadow. This is an example.

BY THE WAY: This was shot through a car window traveling north on I5.

March 17, 2018 — Everett, Washington

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate