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

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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