For today’s DFR, I’m going to veer off-subject a bit into something that is one of my main passions – not only in life, but in the dog show world as well.

If you haven’t guessed already by the title, I am going to talk a little bit about black and white photography.

Recently I had someone tell me that they really enjoyed my pictures, particularly my black and white photos. This really got me thinking.

My initial thought was that I didn’t like the comment. Why would someone say this?

Maybe it was “wrong” of me to react this way, but I couldn’t help thinking that it meant they didn’t like my photos in color. And that got me to wondering if maybe I was missing something.

Finally I think I figured out what they were trying to say. It’s not that they like my black and white photos more than my color photos, but in certain situations, a black and white image can convey different meaning.

For some reason, seeing a photo in its rawest form takes it to the next level, whether for dramatic effect or a sentimental approach.

Exhibit A:

As you can tell by the image above, this photo in black and white is much more dramatic. You just get this “POP” feeling from it. This is why some people – myself included – enjoy a captivating black and white photo from time to time.

You may be asking, “What the heck is going on in this photo?” It reminds me of one of those “playing or fighting?” photos. Well in this case, it is playing! It was taken right after Best in Show, just as the handler’s assistant received a first “hello” greeting from the Standard Poodle, Ch. Penndragon Owain.

I find the image in black and white captivating to look at. It removes the “distraction of color.” It forces the viewer’s eye to concentrate on things in the photo that the eye normally wouldn’t. The more subtle elements of the photo, like shapes, textures and shadows, plus the subject, itself, become readily apparent. They virtually create their own drama that is more than appealing to our eye.

I hope the next photo you see in black and white can make you think differently about what you’re looking at and perhaps perceive its content and meaning in a whole new way.

Let’s not forget, Dogs Freakin’ Rule!