Sunday Stills: Your Best #Black-and-White Photos

Inked hummer

Black and white photography is not at the top of my list of favorite photography techniques. I prefer color photography, but I enjoy seeing others’ black and white images and I recognize the special eye and techniques it takes to create just the right image.

“Black and white photography removes any distraction of color and helps the viewer focus on other aspects of the photo, such as the subject, the textures, shapes and patterns, and the composition.”

David Kindervater

As I challenge myself with this theme, I start by sharing two images of people, which in my opinion, especially lend themselves to black and white photography. I cannot take credit for the images, but they are two of my favorites.

This was taken by my husband’s brother-in-law. He caught this image of my husband lighting a cigar. Not only does the light balance work here, but the smoke curls in contrast to the dark background. His expression shows the anticipation of the first inhale as he lights the cigar. This would be the kind of black and white photography to which I would aspire.

man smoking cigar

We recently celebrated my mother-in-law’s life with a family memorial service. Aside from other wonderful images of her, my sister-in-law took this one of Hella for her high school photography class in 1974.

Hella Schrandt

Again, NOT one of my images, but she captured her mother’s joy and zest for life in this now eternal moment.

A Black and White Gallery

I dug into my archives for these images shown in the gallery. *Note–the black sand beach was actually black and white…cheating?

Birds in Black and White

Any subject can be finished in black and white. In the example below, I have the same image of one of my backyard hummingbirds (incidentally all puffed up from a spring rain shower and a good example of next week’s theme “spring green”). I feel that the color image really pops compared to the black and white image I created. Here is how they look side-by-side.

Fluffed up hummingbirdall fluffed up in BW

Since I was not thrilled with the B&W version, I also used a black and white filter (Painnt app) as seen below to enhance what should remain a wonderful color image but doesn’t lend itself to black and white.

Inked hummer

What do you think?

While we are on the subject of birds, I happened to have an oldie-but-goodie image of a Pacifica shorebird in sepia format, taken on the beaches of San Diego. Shared for Lisa’s BirdWeekly.

sepia shore bird

Whatever your own techniques for creating beautiful B&W images, please share a little about your process.

Looking for Black and White Photo Challenges?

I love coincidence! This photo was taken for Cees Black and White Photo challenge in 2015 (when I was newer to blogging and photography). Why coincidence? I am resubmitting this same image for Cee’s B&W challenge for kitchen objects (started this week!) again 6 years later! This was one of my first attempts to focus a color into a black and white image. I know it’s lacking, but we all start somewhere. Cee offers her black and white photo challenge weekly.

blackand white kitchen

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

porch light

If we were having coffee this week, I would happily tell you that we may be within two weeks of moving into the house! I hope I haven’t jinxed it…but the manufactured home company told us that carpet was installed this weekend, and I’ve had assurances that the septic system goes in this week. Above is the cute porch light recently installed. So much happened at lightning speed over the last three weeks, almost as if to make up for the lo-o-ong wait for just electricity last month. A few more small items to check before the final walk-through. And just in time for spring-like weather. For those who observe daylight saving time, did you spring your clocks forward last night?

Please join Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share each week and see what other bloggers are up to!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I will share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…please visit our…

Rainy Day People

I truly admire folks who can capture lovely images in black and white, so this week, the challenge is YOURS!

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Another Redhead: Cee’s Black & White Challenge

Black and white image of woodpecker with red head

I have been busy on the blog this week, so this post is short and sweet as I share my black and white version of this woodpecker.

Back in early 2017, with my new Lumix camera in tow, I strode along the American River Bike Trail hoping for some good photo ops! Although it was late January, it was a sunny day and birds were out. I was so excited to see Mr. Woodpecker here.

Woodpecker in black and white

Cee’s challenge accepts black and white photos with these elements: I chose the third one to highlight the pop of red on his little birdy head.

  • Black and white photography
  • Sepia tones (browns)
  • Selective color with the majority of the photo being in black and white
  • Desaturated – very little color tone left in your photo

Here he is in full color with minimal post-editing. I zoomed in on him quite a bit, and was pleased with the clarity.

 

Black and white photo beachFeel free to join Cee’s Black and White Photography Challenge every Thursday where she provides a new theme.

If you are on Instagram and enjoy challenges, check out the Instagram Summer Photo Challenge that begins July 1st.

Sunday Stills themes for July are ready for planning purposes, too!

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Horses in Black and White

White horse at the fence

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I share a LOT of photos, mostly in technicolor! I am happy to write that I am back to stretching my camera lenses with Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenges.

This week’s theme is “animals,” and my entry is this happy, cream-colored horse I met while walking with my Dad on Father’s Day. He lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills (Northern California), in a picturesque, quaint, but very “country” area of his small town.

She came right up to the fence as we approached and her buckskin friend dutifully came along side. This image is in color so you can see the difference from the black and white image above.

Friendly white horse

Dad and I chatted briefly about my old horse Cookie that I loved when I was a young girl living near Portland, Oregon. It got me very nostalgic for my horseback riding days.

For more about my love of horses, you can check out this oldie-but-goodie post, Borrowing Freedom.

“All horses deserve the chance, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.” Unknown

If you are looking for more photo challenges, head over to Cee’s Photo Challenge PageAnd don’t forget about my weekly feature, Sunday Stills. July’s themes will be posted next week!

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