It's snowing again here in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Not much accumulation, but it sure is pretty.
I've decided to make my next theme Black and White. No colors, except maybe some toning (adding one or two colors to the whole print after removing all the natural colors). Hopefully, this approach will force me to see both more graphically, and with an eye for tonality. Of course, I could just desaturate any old photo I take during the course of the day, and I'm sure that will happen a few times, but I'd like to feel my brain shift into another creative gear if possible.
I used to shoot a lot of black and white film and process/print it in this darkroom on campus. Nobody was ever in there, and I had to learn on my own, with the help of a 35mm book that had a darkroom chapter. It was a fun process, and I think I'd like to try it again sometime, but I can knock out a lot more photos editing digitally, without nearly as many toxic chemicals (except a bit of scotch), AND I have the benefit of the good ol' UNDO button. In other words, I'm a lot sloppier. But that's digital for you. You can see your mistakes immediately, and immediately try again, without any lost time invested. And so you may be able to learn faster, but you could also just NOT learn at all, without having that risk of investing hours of time and money to find out that you exposed a whole roll of film wrong. When you learn that way, you learn for real. The next time you shoot something similar, you are going to work to not repeat that mistake.
But trust me, I love digital. I never had the cash to really experiment when I shot film, and a digital SLR frees you from that constraint: pixels are free. So go out and shoot in the snowy night!