Posted in Air, Beginnings, Digital Art, Earth, Family, Fire, Grandparenthood, Nature, Ohio, Photo Challenge/Assignment, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Winter

Getting down to the nitty gritty

Crocuses in black & white
Crocuses in black & white

Black and White Photography does more to evoke an emotion and freeze a moment in time than any other medium…  The subtle tones of grays, the strong emphasis of the Blacks, and the softness of the Whites makes one look much closer at the subject and composition due to the lack of natural color.  Emotions are always much easier to portray with Black and White, because of the stark contrasts and the sharp focus on the subject.

~ Bob Snell

Scott’s Assignment 24 is Black & White Photography.  I don’t use black and white often, but it is a tool in my photography toolbox.  To me, divesting an image of color is a good way to highlight the details of the image and bring out the texture.  It also has an emotional, sometimes dramatic, component to it that you can’t get with color.

March 2013 077a-001

There’s something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery.

~ Stefan Kanfer


You might recognize the first two photos in this series.  I brought them to you in color back at Ye Olde Blogg home.  (If you want to have a look, you’ll find the first one here and the second one there.)


As part of this assignment, Scott wants to know why we decided on a black and white presentation of the image(s).  I converted the images above because I wanted to show the texture and detail of the flowers, the grasses, the leaves, and the frost.  I also think it brings out the play of light more than in the color versions.

A giggly girl.  (2006)
A giggly girl. (2006)

Sometimes I convert my color images to black and white because the photo looks better in black and white.  Black and white can hide a multitude of sins, including overexposure (or chapped, red cheeks on a little girl with a cold).

Full out laughter
Full out laughter

And then there is the dramatic effect.  Perhaps there is a seriousness about the moment that is better suited to black and white.

World War II veteran looking at the names of his brothers who also served during WWII.
World War II veteran looking at the names of his brothers who also served during WWII at the World War II Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

09.24.06 241

Thank you, Scott, for another interesting assignment.

A rainy day at the playground
A rainy day at the playground (2008)

And thank you all for joining me as I experiment with black and white.  Regular walks will resume soon.  For those who are interested in the almost-daily weather reports, on this first day of spring winter still has a firm grip on us here in the Bogs.  The temperature was in the 20’s (F) today and the lake-effect snow machine is working to bring flurries and snow squalls, but we were gifted with sunlight for a good part of the day.  It’s always nice to see the sun.  Ice is once again forming on the surface of the pond.  Bundle up if you want to go for a walk out there.  Otherwise, Jack Frost will surely nip at your nose, your fingers, and anything else exposed.

Splashing in the puddles
Splashing in the puddle (2008)

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just be.  🙂

Today's view of the pond.
Today’s view of the pond.


Robin is...

37 thoughts on “Getting down to the nitty gritty

    1. Thank you so much, CM, for the lovely comment. I like the idea of someone feeling peace when they look at my images (and read my words). 🙂


  1. As I’ve mentioned once or twice (lol) I have a difficult time with black and white photography, but I must say how much I love the one you’ve titled “Panache” – that’s really pretty! Nice choices for the B&W assignment overall.


    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 I’m a big fan of color (probably because the winters are black & white around here!), but it’s nice to play with something different once in a while.


  2. I enjoyed seeing the black & white photos. I’ve played with them briefly, but don’t like them as well on my work. They are great though (for me) when I’m correcting old family photos that have changed colors and just can’t be corrected very easily.



    1. Thank you, Nancy. 🙂 It’s fun to play. Sometimes it even works out well. I hear you on the old family photos. I’ve had to convert some of mine from the 70’s. There’s something about photos from that decade. They didn’t seem to hang on to their colors well (or were a little odd to begin with).


      1. That’s exactly the time period I’m having trouble with. The early colored photos very obviously didn’t have the technology (or archival qualities) quite right yet. I have one of a great-aunt and great-uncle that when I color corrected it, their faces became purple! After playing for quite a while, I made it black & white and it looked just fine. It also fit in with the other photos from that period, so no one even questioned it.


  3. Atmospherically speaking black and white seems to be the um.. new colour…, Robin, … a sort of underlining of the subject, as more serious and , (trying to get my words out right here) with colour you are amazed , almost gobsmacked by the sheer amount of fantastic arrays in nature, … but black and white enables you to really ‘see’ the subject, and absorb the details… (does that sound odd ?..)… anywho… loved the visit… hugs aplenty…. xPenx


    1. Makes perfect sense to me, Pen. I know a lot of people are playing with black and white these days so I think you’re right about it being the new colour. Thank you and hugs aplenty back at ya. 🙂


  4. Beautiful choices for B&W. I don’t experiment with it enough. I love how removing the color changes the feel of pictures … it can remove the clutter and distractions and emphasize the emotions and facial expressions … like your little girl pictures. good job.


    1. Thank you, Bearyweather. I was thinking the same thing — that I don’t experiment with B&W very much. After seeing the frosty grasses in B&W, I’m thinking I should do it more often. 🙂


  5. Beautiful work. Back when I was “ye old teacher”, as opposed to “He is old retired teacher”, I would point out to my media students that when you add colour to photography , motion pictures, and television they become different mediums. Just as television isn’t just radio with pictures, B&W offers different information than colour. B&W possesses a different emotional & conceptual connection to the viewer that is very powerful.
    Great post & wonderful compositions. 🙂


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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