Tag Archives: MWM

Seeing black and white

Amaryllis

I’ve been enjoying my amaryllis this week. It just came into bloom, I have three amaryllises from Christmases through the years that have decided to pop into bloom this month. After mucking about with daffodils in black and white earlier this week I decided to give the amaryllis a try for Brashley Photography’s Mid-week Monochrome. Also for Cee’s Flower of the Day (in color it was my flower for yesterday also).

As often I find, the black and white brings out the textures and the lines in the petals. For these pictures I used the GIMP’s built-in Desaturate tools. If you are interested in trying them out I have this article about the tools on my other website: Black and white digital photo processing using the GIMP.

Waves and rocks in black and white

I associate Hawaii with color. But I took several photos during the blue hour and they aren’t exceptionally colorful, so I tried a few of them out in black and white.

Waves crashing on the lava rocks at the edge of Sandy Beach on Oahu in Hawaii. Photo processed using Raw Therapee and the GIMP with Nik's Silver Effects plug-in.
Morning waves at Sandy Beach on Oahu
Waves crashing on the lava rocks at the edge of Sandy Beach on Oahu in Hawaii. Photo processed using Raw Therapee and the GIMP with Nik's Silver Effects plug-in.
Morning waves at Sandy Beach on Oahu.
Waves crashing on the lava rocks at the edge of Sandy Beach on Oahu in Hawaii. Photo processed using Raw Therapee and the GIMP with Nik's Silver Effects plug-in.
Morning waves at Sandy Beach on Oahu.

For Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Matching Things (it’s a stretch, but they are waves hitting the same lava rocks with the same clouds in the sky.)

All photos were taken with my Sony RX10iv. I use Raw Therapee to do the basic adjustments then load the resulting .tif files into the GIMP. I used Nik Silver effects to convert to black and white, then did some touch up and added a vignette using the GIMP.

Colorless love and peace

I experimented with black and white processing using the pictures I took of my love and peace rose yesterday for this week’s mid-week monochrome. The raindrops stand out more strongly in black and white.

Bud of the heirloom rose, love and peace, turned to black and white using the GIMP.
This bud’s for you.
The love and peace rose in full bloom. The black and white treatment is in the GIMP.
In full glory.

These were changed into black and white using the GIMP. A post describing the technique I used is: Mountain landscapes in black and white.

The color images are:

The photos were all taken with a Sony RX10iv camera, iso 100 and aperture ranging from 4 to 6.3, focal length of 8.8mm (24 in 35mm equivalent). I use Raw Therapee to convert the raw files to images and do the initial edits then switch to the GIMP to do final editing, including the conversion to black and white.

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.

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.