When we strip an image of its color, we leave behind only its most basic elements. Devoid of color, at the onset we are afraid something essential is missing, that we have removed a vital piece of the puzzle, the piece that made it vibrant and gave it strength. But when we take a step back and study the image in its entirety, the subtle nuances we missed before become obvious as we are compelled to see the reality that had been camouflaged by the myriad of colors.
As we study further, the absolutes of black and white begin to take precedence. These shades are unwavering – black is black and white is white. We can desire what has been lost in the darkness or search in vain for what lies beyond the light, but they are either absent or unattainable. We can no more alter something we do not possess than we can create something where nothing exists.
What remains are the subtle nuances and details incorporated within the countless shades of gray. Within the variations of shadow and light, the influence of the underlying hues remains. These are the elements under our control. Here is where our power lies; here is where we can begin to shape the overall tone of the message we hope our final image will convey. We can foster a sense of peace and tranquility or fixate on the underlying drama and turmoil.
Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in all the details, to lose the forest for the trees. Luckily, we have tools at our disposal. Tools that allow us to experiment and take chances. We can make our initial edits, evaluate and modify accordingly. We can remove the changes that don’t work and keep the ones that do. Through trial and error, we navigate through the process of working towards our final goal. Sometimes there are surprises along the way. Unexpected results that add their own unique interpretation to the overall image . Other times, we know exactly what to do and we find the perfect balance without too much trouble. It all depends on what we started with, what we have to work with and where we hope to be at the end.
Through experience and growth, we become more adept at making the transformation. Still there is always the chance that a different and unique situation will arise and we will be forced to disregard everything we know and start the process over again from scratch. Oftentimes, these are the situations that yield the most profound results. The ones we never saw coming, yet we can be overjoyed, amazed or in absolute awe with the power the outcome possesses. This is what keeps us going, and keeps us coming back for more. These are the moments that bring meaning to our lives and joy to our hearts. They mean so much more because the journey was a long, arduous one.
When at last we achieve our goal, we can sit back, relax, reflect and appreciate the final product. Although, it may seem as if we have been manipulating only shades of gray, we cannot lose sight of the fact that all along we were really influencing the original colors concealed beneath the surface. Every once in a while, if we are lucky and the conditions are just right, the rarest circumstance of all may arise. One by one, we may be able to carefully allow those colors to slowly make their way back to the surface.