B & W or color

Some photographers focus on black & white photography, others color, but many are like me and we’ll use both depending on the circumstances.

For myself, I’ve seen a photo in color that’s uninteresting until you desaturate it, reducing it to greys, blacks, and whites, and then it takes on life and interest. Conversely, other photos need the color; otherwise important detail is lost.

These photos were from a hike along the Katy Trail, in and around Rocheport, Missouri. I show both color and B & W images, so that you can see the difference when using one or the other. I’ve found that when I want to add a surreal quality to a photo — to build on the emotion — I always use B & W. However, when I want to focus more on the subject of the photo, I tend to use color.

Rocheport River

Two slightly different photos of the same river/creek that feeds into the Missouri river, right outside the Rocheport Tunnel. The scene looks good regardless of whether it’s in color or not, but the B & W tends to wash much of the warmth out of the photo.



Tunnel Entrance

This is a case where removing the color harms the photo, in my opinion. I believe that the colors of the rock and the leaves actually add detail, and the B & W comes off more flat, less interesting.

Of course, this is, again, my opinion.



In Stone

This photo is of a crack in the limestone cliffs, and is next to a dwelling actually made into this crack. I hide the dwelling behind these leaves in this photo — you can see the images at the Burningbird Images site for more detail.

In this case, the colors are flat because of the lack of sun — I think that B & W is much superior, and gives a interesting feel to the photo.



No Choice

Two completely different photos to demonstrate that, sometimes, there is no option. A photo would be useless without color, or a B & W would be material for the garbage can if in color.

The first photo is of a pretty bug that landed on the back of my gold car, and the photo’s colors highlight the contrast. I have no idea what this bug is, but it was very tenacious. Even when I lifted the trunk lid to put my purse in the trunk, it maintained its grip.


This photo is from inside the Rocheport Tunnel, looking towards the entrance. The light difference was extreme, and in color, it would be a muddy mess. However, in B & W, the effect is dramatic, even extreme. Many wouldn’t like this photo, but I love it — it was one of my favorites.



Mixing Vanilla XML with RDF/XML

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

What would it be like to add the ability to create RDF/XML “sub-trees” within a plain vanilla XML document? It would be like the following:

xoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxox xoxoxoxo xxoxoxooxoxxo foaf:knows xoxoxoxox xox xoxoxoxox oxoxoxoxox xxoxoxoxoxoxxo rss:item xoxoxoxoxoxox xoxoxoxo xxoxoxoxox xoxo xxxxoxo xxox x foaf:lastname xoxoxoxo xoxoxoxoxox oxxx oxoxox oxoxoxox xoxoxox postcon:reason xoxoxoxox xxxxoxoxo xoxoxox job:title xoxoxox xoxoxoxoxxx xoxo xxxxxxxxxxxx xooxoxox ooooooo xoxoxoxooxx oxxoxo xoxoxo xooxoxox xoxoxooo oooxoxoxo oxoxoxo xoxoxoxo oxoxox ooooooxoxox cc:license


You have your peanut butter in my chocolate!

Recovered from the Wayback machine.

Jon Udell has been exploring the concept of mixing, in his words, RDF-isms with RSS 2.0, which is a non-RDF, single use XML vocabulary.

First, important note – when RDF people talk about RSS, they usually mean RSS 1.0, which is an RDF-enabled vocabulary.

Second important note – RDF puts certain constraints and requirements on an XML document for it to be valid RDF/XML, and to be usable within RDF applications and APIs.

The question began with namespaces, and Dan Brickley pointing out what is one of the major strengths of RDF – if a vocabulary is RDF compliant, then it’s namespace would work within other RDF-compliant vocabularies. As Dan wrote in comments in the original thread:

In the RSS1 design (via the love-it-or-loathe-it RDF approach) we had a more loosly coupled, de-centralised design: a namespace worked with RSS1 if it worked with RDF. If someone created an RDF vocab for Jobs, then it worked with RSS1. If someone else creates an RDF vocab for locations (to talk in more detail about where the jobs are), then that too just worked. Same goes for a skills vocab (there’ll likely be several). Or person-descriptions (not just FOAF, vCard but the several others people have created to qualify those).

Jon took this tidbit and stretched it – waaaay out of shape – into a discussion about using RDF in conjunction with RSS 2.0. He comes up with a sample feed. It validates with the RSS validator. Fine and good – but it’s not going to validate as RDF, which provide those aforementioned rules and criteria and constraints that keep any old XML from being used as RDF and violating the RDF model that forms the basis of the RDF/XML.

There is a mathematical model we all use that says when we add 2 plus 2, we get 4. In addition, within this model a value of ‘3′ is greater than a value of ‘2′. You can create your own mathematical model, and in it, 2 plus 2 could equal 5, or 3, or 6 if you want, and a value of ‘2′ is greater than ‘3′ – but it won’t work with the existing model.

You could take your model and document it nicely and say, “Please use it. It’s better and more simple”, and you might be able to get people to use it – but then they would never be on time for trains, and they would never have correct change, and they would most likely be in trouble with the income tax folks.

The point is that the numbers, the operators, and even the syntax that we use within our mathematical system isn’t what’s important – it’s the model, not the pictures that counts.

Jon today states:

Actually, I’m not saying that I want to put RDF into RSS. I’m trying to ask and answer two questions: 1) Is it feasible? and 2) What benefits would it confer?

Jon, in a nutshell: 1) no , 2) many, but would require that you abandon the single-use RSS 2.0 architecture in favor of a more universally defined architecture, which is the aforementioned RDF/XML.

Lots of new RDF/XML vocabularies coming down the road, Jon, and not just the new RSSJobs which is this week’s hot spot. (Is this RSS 1.0 or RSS 2.0 – can’t find info on this.) Many excellent RDF/XML vocabularies, all of which will not work with RSS 2.0 because RSS 2.0 is a single-use, single-purpose simple syndication feed that doesn’t care whether it mixes with other vocabularies. That’s cool. That’s your choice.


Did find a comment thread where Dan talks about mixing RDF namespaces in with regular XML.

Dan’s a patient man. He wants to allow the XML freeforall world to benefit from RDF/XML. I admire him for this. I disagree with even attempting to do this.

What’s the point of the model, the rigor, the challenges associated with RDF/XML, if we’re going to say, “Oh, well, we don’t want to force you to use our model. Don’t worry your pretty little heads about it – just go ahead and just take what you want, we don’t mind.”

It’s the same as saying use your mathematical model, we’ll learn it so that we can give you the proper change when you buy that beer you so obviously need for doing something so daft.

You want to combine plain vanilla XML and RDF/XML? Fine. Use XSLT. Or a sledgehammer. Or drugs.