Tag Archives: Black & White

The other side of the mountain

 Naches River in Eastern Washington, Even though the river flows through the land is arid and there are few trees.
I always seem to pull over in this spot.
Scenery along the Naches is absolutely gorgeous, whether in color or black and white.
Naches River in Eastern Washington

We took the long way home from The Mountain last week, in order to get some apricots in Eastern Washington. The climate on the far side of the mountain is quite dry and the landscape is stark compared to the lush near rain forests on the western side, but it is beautiful none-the-less.

I think the landscapes have a classic, timeless look in black and white.

These were turned into black and white using the GIMP, open-source software. I used the same methods as I did for the post: Mountain landscapes in black and white.

For Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Fields and landscapes.

The color images:

Five petals

A rock rose.
Columbine

The only fives that caught my eyes this week.

The rock rose was converted to black and white using RawTherapee, an open source program, and the Columbine was processed using the Nik Silver Effects Pro plug-in for the Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). I added a vignette and a focus blur in the GIMP.

If you are interested in checking out Raw Therapee or the GIMP there are a few posts here: The photo processing tools on my belt.

For Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Five.

May in black and white

For the past year or so I’ve been studying black and white. Specifically using open-source software (the GIMP and Raw Therapee). It is very interesting to see how different elements catch your eye when you remove color.

Here are a few photos from the past few weeks.

Spring woods

True spring green: Sunlight hitting the trees as they start to leaf up.
Fern Cove on Vashon Island in Puget Sound.
Fern Cove's spring woods converted to black and white.
Converted to black and white using the GIMP’s built-in mono-mixer tool.

Do you think it still feels like spring with the color removed?

Siberian Iris

My neighbor’s irises.
Raw Therapee has a tool that allows you to selectively brighten or darken individual colors.
Converted to black and white using Raw Therapee’s luminance equalizer method.
Silver Effects Pro in the Nik collection has a lot of really great pesets. This one is called "Fine Art".
Converted to black and white using the Nik plug-in to the GIMP.

This photo, with two variations shows how you can get different effects. I couldn’t decide which of these two black and whites to choose. In one the flowers stand out more from the background but there isn’t as much emphasis on the design on the petals. What do you think?

Un-furling

This photo is almost a mono-chrome in greens. The contrasts are in brightness and the sharpness of the details.
A bracken fern unfurling.
Another Nik collection preset: Film Noir #3.
Converted to black and white using the Nik plug-in to the GIMP.

I chose this one because it is almost monochrome in green. It’s probably not a fair comparison because the black and white had the background darkened and blurred a bit. Maybe I should go in to the colored one and try to emulate that effect.

Spring Sky

Changing weather viewed over Colvos Passage on Puget Sound.
Simple de-saturation using the GIMP’s built-in tool.

I was curious to see what would happen to this photo that doesn’t seem to have much color in it. It was a surprise to see that the black and white feels a bit warmer than the original.

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Brashley Photography’s Mid-Week Monochrome.

If you are interested in trying out these open source (free!) programs here are a couple of posts that might help: The photo processing tools on my belt.

Odd couples

For Cee’s Black and White Challenge: pairs.

My pups: Asta and Ginger are almost inseparable.
Uncle and niece walking Asta make a pretty cute pair.
Dad with my half-sister: Max.
A pair of gulls on a rainy day.

These two were taken in black and white very long ago:

Scanned image from long ago: a boy and his dog.
Another scanned oldy: the same boy (his name was Watson) with his grandfather, also named Watson.

Watson was my grandfather’s oldest brother.

Late fall close-ups

All of these were converted to black and white using Nik Silver Effects Pro.

For Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: close-ups.

November nature in black and white

I don’t shoot in black and white, but I took these photos on a walk yesterday planning to process them in Black and White for Hey Jude’s 2020 Photo Challenge #47: photograph nature in Black and White and experiment with high and low key effects.

Light and dark

Some photos from the past couple of weeks that have a strong contrast between light and dark.

While the contrast between light and dark is fundamental to black and white, I also find myself drawn to contrast in sharpness of detail and texture. You can see that in several of the photos above.

This week Hey Jude for Photo Challenge #46 asked for black and white focusing on contrast.

North island textures

Sometimes it is the close ups that give you a real sense of place:

Shadows and textures really make the carving below. I think it looks more dramatic in black and white. The colors distract.

A Maori carving in a meeting house at the treaty grounds in Waitangi.

We spent a couple of weeks, amazing, delightful weeks, on the north island of New Zealand last January. It feels like more than 11 months ago. We were able to see our son over the Chinese New Year. He went back and while he was in the air going back the state department sent out its “do not travel to China” message. (I have some very pithy ideas about the US state department.)

Seeing him again is not in the cards in the foreseeable future, so I am sooo happy that we had that time right before everything closed down.