Some Things in Life are Black & White; like Pictures.

A beautiful morning greeted me on the back porch, the temperature was already 70º F at 0700 this morning. By 0900 it was 80º F with a trace of wildfire smoke and haze in the distance. It doesn’t take much smoke to cause coughing along with eyes watering and itching. I packed it up and moved indoors, I’ve been in since.

I chose a few photos to add to my black and white collection, Canadian Geese seem to be a natural as they are already mostly black and white.

Care must be taken when choosing a photo to convert, not all of them have the correct colors and shadows that work with no color. For the most part the closer the colors are to grey the easier it is to edit them to appear correctly. It has a learning curve that I’m up to.

I thought a Raven would be a natural as well but for this image at least it just doesn’t work. Just to get the photo to the point of the one above in the camera is a challenge. These guy’s are so dark and so fast it really is a roll of the dice what the results are.

The nice thing about black and white photography is in the details, literally.

I posted the Seagull picture in my last blog, I’m posting it again to point out the detail. A combination of the shadows and feathers on the wings makes the contrast stand out really well. In this image it doesn’t matter too much that the birds head is completely in the dark shadow. The composition still works I believe due to the sharp ness of the entire image.





Now this guy is close to be B&W out of the camera, I worked it to be black and white but it did not end up well. It may be that the background should not be blank, or bland. A bit of color or a cloud may have helped this picture out. However as a stand alone photo it’s not really that good, yeh it’s a bird well in focus and detail; but it’s just not doing anything.

The image of the Great Blue Heron in color is a photo I converted to B&W, I think the results were fairly good.

This example from my perspective is a better image in color, again I suspect the devil is in the details. In this photo there is little detail on the bird or the background. However there is plenty on the dock, my eye is directed to what ever is happening on the back of the dock. It makes me want to search the left side of the picture for something of which I’m not sure. I feel with this image because the lack of detail spells doom for it; it’s too bad for me because I like it a lot. Due to my love of this photo I entered it in several contests (peer judged) and it failed to rank well in any of them. I should have read between the lines and taken a deeper look at it, however I don’t think I would have been able to judge it well enough to cause me not to post it. That is artists blindness, true we are our own most critical judges but when (we) I like a photo it’s difficult to un-see it in a critical light.

Of these images posted today by my estimate there are two that would rank in the top 30%, possibly in the top 10%. The Seagull would rank high, the Canadian a bit lower and the other three would be bringing up the rear. The Great Blue Heron has not done well in the three or four I have entered it in; I will take the hint and stop entering it.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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