Architecture, Mallee, Photography

Sometimes You Have to Play

After doing the post yesterday on Mark Simms I found myself inspired by his black and white images and the touch of colour in them.  I have been sitting on the images that I took up in the Mallee, thinking about what I could with them, then I thought maybe I should try making them black and white and adding a touch of colour.

LeanneCole-woomelang-20140125-7295-bwI played around with the highlights and the colours in the images.  It was an interesting thing to do.  I don’t do a lot of black and white. I have struggled with the idea of doing black and white, as I don’t always know which images to use.  I don’t believe every image is better in monotones, but some can be.

It would be easy to just convert them, but I wanted more control than that.  I have the Nik software silver efex, and was going to use that, but in the end I just used Photoshop.

LeanneCole-yaapeet-20140125-8090-bwI also wondered how the fire photos would turn out, so I played with a couple from Yaapeet.  I don’t know if I have added drama to them, but I actually quite like them. When I converted them to black and white I played with the colours again, and lightened some, darkened some.  I really love how the tree came out.

I am not going to go through each one individually, but instead will put the five images I did into a gallery so you can see each one on its own.


  1. Great job, Leanne! In my opinion, you have chosen the right photos for the B&W process. Thanks very much for sharing such good outcome! Take care! :) And you all stay cool!

  2. Nice job! I adore black and white photography!! The first one is my favorite!! Hugz Lisa and Bear

  3. My favorites are the images with the trees, especially the highlights on the dead tree trunk. As always, I enjoy viewing your artwork.

  4. Great work, Leanne! These are good choices, and I think you really increased the drama and enhanced the photos by making them black and white with a touch of color.

    • Oh wow Jemimah, so lots of fun again, how exciting. I love getting new toys. Going to be interesting seeing what you come up with.
      Thank you.

  5. Wow suggestive as usual Leanne…and yes, sometimes it’s a good thing to play a little!

    • Thank you Georgia, it is great to play with some photos, you just never know what you will get, you must find that with writing at times.

      • I thought it would be, I have never done poetry, but my daughter writes it, and I can see similar with her. :)

      • :-) words can be just as tricky…it’s still a question of creating a clear and precise image!

      • Oh yes, I agree, I used to try writing, but I didn’t really have the imagination for it, I am so much more a visual person.

      • Interesting…never thought of it that way…I’d say though a visual person, you certainly have a fine imagination or you wouldn’t be able to pull off some of the fine photos you pull off. So, it’s something else I think that keeps you from writing.

      • I think I have the imagination, but putting it into words is another talent altogether. I like to see, if that makes sense. I am the type of person who it is better to show, than to tell.

      • Yes, it does make sense. I don’t have the imagination to do the artistic takes on photography that you have…a true genius by the way.

  6. So true, sometimes you have to go and try and play. That is what is so great about seeing work from such a wide range of people. Thanks for sharing Leanne. MM 🍀

    • I agree MM, you never know and looking at other people’s work can be really inspirational that way. Thank you MM.

  7. I like black & white but agree that it has to be the right photograph. If I’m looking to seriously edit a photo in B&W I use Photoshop, keeping the base layer as colour then adjusting using a layers. For quicker adjustment I use Lightroom, with 0% saturation & adjusting individual colou luminance be fire plating with shadows & highlights.
    I think you’ve chosen your images well & I particularly light the use of shadow & highlight.

  8. Out of these photos, the one that stands out to me is the very first one. Very abandoned feel to it. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of black-and-white (BW) photos. Don’t know why, maybe it’s because with every photo you make BW, a timeless feel becomes attached to it – and all the photos become, feel the same. Sometimes I feel that BW images are overdramatic, a bit of fakery here and there.

    That’s just my two cents’ worth. Hope you had a good day :)

    • I appreciate your honesty Mabel, and I think I agree with you, you get many people who will love an image in B&W regardless, and I think it can be good for some stuff, but not everything, which is probably why I don’t do a lot of them. I like the colour, and I like playing with that.
      Yeah, not bad, I am enjoying this cooler weather, how about you? :)

      • Once I converted a chunk of my photos from my digital camera into BW, just for kicks. After looking at about ten of them, I felt bored. But playing around with photos is always fun, I’m learning this!

        Today wasn’t exactly a good day for me. But I like this cool summer weather. Went to the beach in the morning, so refreshing and I enjoyed it :).

      • I think to convert images to black and white, you have to pick the right images, I usually choose ones that I think will be made more dramatic, there has to be a reason.

        That isn’t good to hear Mabel, I hope you are okay. I like the weather too. The beach sounds nice, I want to go down there to take some photos one morning.

      • I think images with a strong (sole) subject tend to make better BW images. Your branch image looked really good. Buildings with intricate architecture could make good ones too, in my opinion.

        I’m okay, don’t worry too much about me. Just a series of unexpected events that weren’t in my favour :) I only spent an hour at the beach this morning – not too many people around but the sun was very strong.

      • I agree with you. I don’t always get it right.

        I hate it when that happens, I’m having trouble with my back which is driving me crazy, I hate it when things don’t heal quickly. The sun is always strong here.

  9. brilliant picz..LCP U simply rocks baby
    thanks for sharing and making me learn…thanks a lot..hope you ll stay along the journey…Love-n-Peace

  10. I love how you edited your images. I am working on black and white photos as well.


  11. These all are very dramatic – just the right touch of cold to each. I too use Photoshop – by blending a B&W image over the color base and then working with mode and opacity – it works better than simple desaturation. Sometimes I even HDR tone the B&W prior to final blending (such as my Rub-A-Dub post). Very nice treatment of this shoot.

    • It is good not doing the image straight to black and white, gives you loads more options. I have done some similar things previously but the black and white layer is full opacity in this instance, is that the right way of saying it? Thank you Robert.

  12. I agree with some comments here: great lights and tones. Thanks for sharing your great work, Leanne. Inspiring! :)

    • It is so amazing how I get inspired to create some work, and that work then inspires others, how wonderful that it. Thank you Inge.

  13. Wow, those look good. I have taken a few B&W shots and sometimes wish I had better post skills. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, post processing skills are great to have, I have been learning photoshop for about 3 years now, I’m so glad I took the time to learn, there are many places on the net where you can learn.

  14. I strongly believe that almost EVERY image looks much better in Black and White.
    less distortion in perception of the subject, when colors don’t bring additional geometry and noise. i’m sure that after a longer times of making BW ( i don’t talk about monochrome with tones -tones can create different moods and to pull viewers to some direction not always desired ) you will love this process more and more.

    • I believe some images are really great in B&W, but I also believe some are better in colour. I like to take it image by image and see. Sometimes the colour is what the images is about, sometimes, B&W makes you focus on something else. I like to think that I have the skill in my processing now to make the viewer see what I want them to see, well I like to think that. Thanks Victor, and thanks for your views on this.

  15. They are gorgeous! You have a style and it shines through no matter if they’re color or monochromatic. They are so rich and deep and draw me right into the shot. They make me wonder how you did it and I think that’s a fantastic quality to display in your photos. <3

    • Thank you so much Laura, that is great to hear. I love how rich they came out too.
      If you want to know what I did to make them black and white, you can ask. :)

      • Please! I’d love to know. I just did a black and white today in fact and will be posting it on my blog in a day or two but I’m really not that good with B&W conversions. I took it B&W in camera and then changed it with an adjustment layer in Photoshop and then took it from there. I hate being nosey (LOL yeah right), but I’d love to know what you do. :) Thank you!

      • I have done a couple of tutorials on it in the past, you could look at these, one is a straight forward one, using GIMP, the other is more about what you need to do with Black and White images, though I wrote the second one a long time ago, maybe I could do a new version on my blog today. What do you think?

      • It seems I have used these techniques in my image although I use photoshop. Hurray! I also had read that B&W contain all the colors and they all need to add up to 100% if you move the colors separately. I think it would be neat to do a tutorial for photoshop. I used GIMP way back when I didn’t take photos with my camera but did in-world photos in a game I played but haven’t used GIMP since. Thank goodness! lol

      • That is great Laura. I don’t know about all the colours, but you should have a good range of tones from black to white, and that means having a black and having a white in the image. I haven’t heard that about the 100%, I tend to do it on feeling or instinct and go with what I like. I didn’t do a tutorial, but I did do a post on things to think about when you do B&W images and I am sure many people will add their thoughts as well, there are so many different ways.

      • I meant to say that the 100% shows up in channel mixer. But I’d never thought of it as a picture should contain white and black like you described. That’s very helpful!

  16. Nice B/W photos and yes love the ‘drama’ effect on the tree :-)

    I rarely convert my photos to B/W, but it’s an interesting thing to try ;-)

    • Fantastic Timothy, thank you.
      I must admit I don’t do it much either, but I am glad I tried with these. :)

    • Thank you Emily, I think the touch of sepia really gave them that something extra and it is great you agree.

  17. I’m a fan of B&W and something I’m leaning more and more towards in my own photography. Many colour images convert OK, some convert well, but the best are those that are taken with B&W in mind. It’s a different mindset, a different approach – and that’s why it’s so rewarding … it opens up a whole new world on your doorstep!

    • It is not really a mindset I have Noeline, I think that is because I don’t think that far ahead. I tend to just take photos, then afterwards when I get them on the computer I wonder what I can do with them. Thanks Noeline, love hearing how people work.

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  19. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says

    I sometimes play around with Photoshop and the color variations can be quite dramatic. The examples above are breathtaking.

    • I love being able to do that, it was one thing I really hated about film, unless you were great in the darkroom, you couldn’t do anything with your images. Thanks Jackie.

  20. All these are so amazing! The ambience is intriguing in each of them, but in a different way.

    • Yes, I have tried it before and I have it, though I wanted to try doing them in Photoshop, I quite liked the way they came out. Thank you.

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