A Lack of Color

The weather has continued to be cold and overcast, making backyard photography a challenge.

There is pretty much no sign of animal life, most plants are dead or hibernating, and the vibrant colors of fall are almost gone. As I kept pondering a topic for this week and hoping that something interesting would pop up, I finally decided to go out and try to shoot for black-and-white processing. With a digital camera, I don’t think I’ve ever framed a shot with the intention of making it black and white. I often check how photos would look in black and white during editing, but that’s never my initial vision. With the lack of interesting colors and lighting this past week, I figured it would be a good way to take on the challenge of dull colors and bland lighting.


Knowing that I was going for black and white, I tried to imagine the world in gray-scale while scanning the yard for subjects. That was not something I’m used to doing, so it was a fun challenge.


My eyes were drawn to dying/dead leaves on a few plants because of the textures. The difficult part was dealing with all the other distracting foliage and branches in the shots, so I used a very shallow depth-of-field to try to blur the background as much as possible.


Taking the pictures was only the first half of the process, because then I had to convert the color images into black-and-white images. That can be an art in and of itself, so I mainly adjusted contrast .


Even though the end results were mixed, this exercise reminded me how much it helps to have a clear vision of what you want to share before you take any pictures.





Macro Explorer:

There were some great suggestions for macro photos last week – pine cone, hands, hard water deposits, cursive handwriting, tums, and alligator boots. I did two of them for this week, and maybe I’ll do a few more depending on this week’s comments. Thank you to those who made suggestions!



What objects would you want to see up close next week? Leave your suggestions in the comments below! Don’t worry if you don’t know how it will turn out – that’s the point.

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