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Posts tagged ‘black and white’

MM 2-7: Monochrome Madness 2-7

Here we are again, do I say that every week? I hope you have all had a great week seeking out your monochrome images for Monochrome Madness this week.  I would like to welcome all the new people who have sent images for the first time and say thank you to those who are regular contributors.  It’s been so good doing this, I love seeing what images will work in monochrome. Finding time to respond to the emails has been hard, so if I get some time I will, but I hope you won’t mind if it doesn’t happen.

Shall we start?

fitzroy-gardens-mushroom-marco-fineart

I took this image last Sunday in Fitzroy Gardens in between downpours.  These were growing on some dirt and there were a lot of them.  I was using my macro lens so I got these with that.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Now, Monochrome Madness will continue next week and if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

MM 2-6: Monochrome Madness 2-6

Each week I think I will start this post early, yet I don’t ever seem to get it done. I am not sure why, but I think it’s because I can’t start until I know what image I am going to do. Sometimes I start working it out early, other times, actually most times, I don’t seem to start it until the Monday or Tuesday.  Today hasn’t been any different, and I have finally got my image done for the week.  It is good to see that most of you are much better at getting  your images done early and then send them to me.

queenstreet-melbourne-buildings-anz-tower

Without a doubt, this would have to be one of my favourite buildings in the city.  This image was taken a few weeks ago, actually the same morning as the image I took for last weeks MM.  I have changed the sky in this one though.  I was also trying some new things.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Now, Monochrome Madness will continue next week and if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

MM 2-5: Monochrome Madness 2-5

This week has gone so fast, and I am a day behind in my mind, but here we are and it is time for me to get MM ready again.  There has been some confusion, but please remember that the monochrome madness themes are only happening the first week of each month.

Let take a look at this week.

collinsstreet-melbourne-buildings-clouds

This is an image I took last weekend in the city when I was taking some photos with a friend early in the morning.  It was one of the last images I took before we left the city.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Now, Monochrome Madness will continue next week and if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

Introductions: One Day | One Image

It seems like we have been doing a bit of stuff with monochrome this last week, and completely by coincidence my introduction to you is someone that does a lot of black and white.  Melinda from One Day | One Image is a regular contributor to Monochrome Madness and it is through that that I’ve got to know Melinda’s work and I thought it would be great to showcase her work here for you.

032415

Her work has a very western feel to it, like old western movies.  There is a sense of history in her work, of abandonment.  I like that decay and oldness.

I asked Melinda where in the world she was.

I live in Lubbock, Texas, which is at the southern end of the Texas Panhandle and most of my images are made in that vicinity. My job involves some travel, and I always take my camera, so there are photos from other locations on my blog.

021215

I really enjoy her subject matter and the monochrome ages it and some of the images look like they could be quite old, I like that. Images like the one above look as though time stood still.

As usual I asked Melinda how long she had been taking photos for and why.

I’ll start with the second part of the question: I make photos because I can’t NOT take them! What I see through my lens shapes my world, gives it meaning, and helps me understand it.

That being said, I have to add that I arrived late, and have been a serious photographer for only a few years. I started a photo-a-day blog in 2009; the images from that year are pretty bad, even though at the time I thought otherwise. Somewhere along the line, maybe two or three years in to the blog, I began to see that photography was something that was crucial for me to do and that I enjoyed.

040115While nearly all her work is monochrome, there are the odd images that she has left in colour.  The colour is soft and very desaturated, much like the above shirts on the hangers.  The colours are muted, either through time or through processing, I don’t know, but it is rather effective.

I asked Melinda about inspiration.

The horizon. I live on the plains and every vista is dominated by a virtually unbroken horizon.

Much of my work features images of small West Texas towns that are declining, many past the point of being saved. I find great beauty in the decay: I like the textures, the devolution of building materials, the vast evidence of lives lived on an unforgiving land.

My friend, the photographer Brett Erickson, is also an inspiration to me. (We met through our blogs.) He also works in a part of the United States that is in decline; his deep affection for his part of the country is readily apparent in his work, and I try to learn from his excellent examples. (His blog is here https://brettlerickson.wordpress.com)

I’ve just finished a week-long workshop with former National Geographic magazine photographer Sam Abell, whose work is also inspirational. I hope that my images will soon begin to reflect some of the many valuable lessons he shared with us.

031015

I didn’t think you would get an image like this in Texas. I always picture Texas as hot and dusty and nothing freezing. There is a lot of texture in this image.

I asked if there was anything special about the way she works.

I don’t think I can be objective about this! But, if I try to step back and look and my overall body of work, I’d say my architecture degree (which I don’t use otherwise) has helped me understand my subject matter.

030615

I like the details in her work too.  What she sees and what she finds.  It is nice to see the bigger picture, but it is also very nice to see the small things that have been left behind as well.  I love the detail in this old car, it looks like something I would have played in when I was a child.

My last question was about gear.

I use a Nikon D7000 and either a 17-200mm lens or a 28mm one. (I have other lenses, but don’t use them enough to mention.) I have a small array of other usual things like a tripod and a light meter and filters. Other than that, because I live in an area with a lot of dust, a crucial bit of gear is my sensor-cleaning kit, which is always in my bag.

I am trying to remember to use my iPhone camera more often.

I use Photoshop and Lightroom, along with plug-ins from Topaz and NIK.

I do hope you will all go and visit Melinda’s blog, One Day | One Image, and take a look at all the other photos that she has. There is so much to look at there. I am going to show you a gallery of the images I have chosen, but first I would like to thank Melinda for giving me permission to feature her and her wonderful work here on my blog.  I am sure you will all love it.

Up for Discussions: Images in Monochrome

The Monochrome Madness challenge has been wonderful, yet I am finding many people feel their own work is not good enough, or they don’t really know, or think they don’t know, how to do monochrome images.  I offered to write a post about it.  I thought why not, but I don’t feel like I am in any way an expert on monochrome images, or black and white, so I am going to get the discussion going, and like we did with other discussions, like common mistakes newbies make, I will talk about what I do and give some ideas and hopefully other people will keep adding to the discussion. What happens, I will start the conversation.  The first part is how to choose an image, and the second part will be about how to convert them to black and white.  The post will remain open and as people, you, make suggestions I will add marysville-steavensons-falls-water-monochrome-100-2them to the post.  So please leave what you want to say in the comments, I will cut and paste them.  Remember this is about helping people who have trouble creating monochrome images. Shall we get on with it.

The Image

Textures and Patterns

Not every photo you take will be a good monochrome image, sad but true.  There are things to look for when you are going to convert an image.  Images with lots of textural elements or patterns are great for monochrome, the patterns and textures can laurent-melbourne-littlecollins-building-monochromereally stand out.

Contrast

Really what a great monochrome image needs is lots of contrast.  I am going to try and explain contrast because I know a lot of people say they know what it is and they don’t.  I used to be one of them.  People say to me it doesn’t have enough contrast and it took me years to work out what they meant. So contrast is about the difference between the whites and the blacks.  If you have ever used the threshold on an image, and converted it to just blacks and just whites, then you will find an image with a lot of contrast.  Though the image would look crap, but a good image would have blacks, and whites and lots of shades in between.  What you are looking for are lots of tones, or greys from light to dark.  Often images that don’t have a lot of contrast just look grey royal-exhibition-building-reflection-museumand not very good.

Tones

If you want to know if an image will be good for black and white, look at the tones in the image, the lights and darks, is their enough of a difference. Remember that some colours will have the same tones when converted. For example red and green will have the same tone, and when you convert they may look the same. Dramatic images often lend themselves very well to monochrome as well.

Camera

A couple of people have mentioned how you can take photos in Black and White with a setting on your camera.  One way is to take Black and White photos, but then you loose the flexibility of your image because you can’t make it colour again. The other option is to make your screen show you the preview in B&W. The images are still colour, but you get an idea of what it looks like in monochrome. I don’t do either, but I know people who do.  To be honest, I just don’t think of it.  If you are new to this and learning, then changing your screen to give you the preview could be very beneficial.

Zone System

The zone system that Ansel Adams developed has been mentioned.  I’ve never been able to work it out, but there are others who have read it and used it to get better images.  If you are really stuck, could be good to look at.

Taking Images

It has been suggested that if you have the intention of getting images in black and white, then when you set out to take them, remember that, and look at what you are taking.  Think about whether it will be a good image for monochrome.

From Merilee, her point of view.

The best way to learn the language of black and white is to work only in black and white. And I don’t mean allowing the camera to take black and white images for you. You must go out and take the photograph in color, and really LOOK at what you are shooting. Before you shoot it, you need to train your eye and brain to convert the image from color to black and white in your mind first. After awhile it becomes automatic. You can be looking at a sign that’s in bright colors, but you know instinctively that when you convert that color photograph into black and white, that the colors on the sign will all turn the same shade of grey. You must do this and do it a lot to learn the language. Also, when composing for black and white, it will be different than composing for color. Because your color becomes part of the composition itself. When shooting for black and white you need to SEE the large, dark areas and the large light areas while you are composing. Work like this for two or three years. I’m not talking about a few weeks. This takes years. I know. It’s what I do. All the time…

Chris had similar views as Merilee

Have to agree with Merilee, to some extent. it does help to convert to black and white completely . I did this about 4 years ago and only shoot for black and white images as an end product, unless some one asks me to do specifically colour for family shots or something like that.

I shoot with a Nikon and preview only in black and white when out and about, I use the histogram a bit when out . The images a raw colour images though. Lightroom is the program I use for conversion, just my preference, presets are good to get a starting point, then the B&W sliders , contrast and lights and shadows sliders used a lot, and the tone curve box fro very subtle changes , lights out – to isolate the image on the screen , then export to PS for resizing and a little sharpening maybe .

Sometimes I use PS for doging and burning using layers.

From Dan

As you know, I “convert” several of my seascape images to B&W. Seascapes are difficult due to lack of contrast in water. I find that adding other elements (clouds, sand, rocks, people, etc…) to be very effective. The key is the light… the sun’s direction and height specifically. Midday sun can be too flat, but early morning and late afternoon (just after/before golden hour) can be a great time to shoot. Look for clouds to add drama, shading on rocks, and wet sand for some glimmer. Here in San Francisco, I like to go out in the early morning. It’s typically overcast which softens the light. Remember that the sun is still shining through those clouds adding that much needed contrast. You just have to figure out its direction.

My final tip is to know what your goal is “before” you push the button. Visualize your final image in B&W. It becomes easier with practice, but an important goal, nonetheless.

Converting to Black and White

Simple Editing

There are so many ways of converting images, and it really is an individual thing.  There is no right way or wrong way of doing it.  You can do what works for you. apollo-bay-funghi-rainforest-monochromeThe most common thing to do is to reduce the saturation and take out all the colour in the image.  You can go to the menu and find where you can convert it to greyscale. They are the two most common ways that I can think of to convert your images.

Black and White Adjustment Layers

Photoshop has an adjustment now that allows you to convert them, you can click that and your image is monochrome, then you can adjust the individual tones in the image to make them darker or lighter, according to how you want them.  It is one of my preferred methods of doing the conversion.  I will often give the contrast slider a little push as well for extra effect.

From Judy

On choosing what to convert, I am not sure I do. I think the picture choses. Crazy I know but I just see it and must convert!! For me using Photoshop or taking advantage of such software as Silver Efex, I find the starting point of color very powerful. Once you are in a neutral black and white stage, you can use sliders to lighten and darken various colors in the scene. For example green leaves with lighter yellow areas can be separately lightened or darkened to give highlight and interest to the leaves. Once I like the look of the image, then I can take that composite as a black and white with no more help from underlying color and adjust lighting and contrast in various ways so the final image has a nice mood. If you love nuances of light on just about anything, water, rocks, leaves, trees, birds…then a black and white treatment will always be a wonderful temptation.

Toning

From InfraredRobert

However the photographer goes about the conversion, don’t forget that when all is said and done, you can still use one more ‘trick” from the old days of printing on paper – specifically: Do you want a warm tone or cool tone image? Often this final step (by using a photo filter in PhotoShop) really gives a nice finishing touch to a monochrome image.

Plugins

There is also lots and lots of software that will help you get that black and white effect.  You simply open your image in them and hey presto there is your black and white image.  There are many around, with the most popular one being apollo-bay-treetops-rainforest-monochromeSilver Efex from the Nik Collection. I know Topaz Labs also have one, but I have never used it, so I don’t know what it is like. They usually have a heap of presets, to help you decide exactly how you would like your image to look.

Actions

I have also seen some actions that when you apply them they will make your image black and white, however you need Photoshop to use them, though I believe you can also use them in Elements, but I’m not positive about that. You can often pick up an action quite cheaply or a bundle of them.  I am experimenting with doing them, perhaps I should do one for people.

Other Software

From Victor

Another piece of software for Mac uses is MacPhun’s Tonalality. It’s got lot if bells and whistles that make it easy and fun to use.

Conclusion and Photos

I am leaving it there, so I am hoping those that are much better at monochrome will help add more information. What little tips can you give people who want to get better at doing them?  For those of you who want to learn how to get better images, try looking at more monochrome and if you don’t like an image see if you can work out why, or why the black and white doesn’t work. I am not going to put everything in the article, so you should also read the comments, as people might add information to what I’ve already said. All the images today are ones I’ve done in monochrome.  I am fairly certain they have been on the blog before, some for monochrome madness, and some just, well just because I wanted to. If you look at the file names and see SEP in it then it usually means that it was done in Silver Efex.

MM2-4: Monochrome Madness 2-4 with a Theme

Here is our first theme for Monochrome Madness and it seems my first choice of MM was not great and many people found it very hard. So I apologize for that.  Now I didn’t think how people would figure out what the MM is for each photo, so I am hoping that all the people who submitted will have it on their blogs, though some have it in the file name.

There will be one gallery for the theme photos and a second gallery for those that forgot or didn’t want to do the challenge, which is fine as well.  I used to always avoid themes.

The next theme is going to be Fences, you take what you like with that idea and it will be for MM 2-9. Let’s have a look at the images for the theme MM.

light-trails-flinders-street-station-bw

My image, “Melbourne Moving” or “Moving Melbourne” or “Melbourne on the Move”, a few options for you.  This is actually an old photo that I thought would be great for this post, I hope you think so too.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Monochrome Madness Theme – MM

Monochrome Madness – Like it is Each Week

Now, Monochrome Madness will continue next week and if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

MM 2-3: Monochrome Madness 2-3

To start off I need to make some things clear about the theme next week.  The theme is ‘MM’ and the idea is to use those letters, whether in the title or not.  As someone pointed out last week my image would have been perfect for it “Melbourne Museum”.  I wish I had thought of it and saved the image.  You can do something with the letters MM, or you could do things like “monochrome mop”, “moving moat” I don’t know, but hopefully you get the idea.  I promise the next theme will not be this difficult.

So shall we get on with this weeks Monochrome Madness.

banyule-flats-sunrise-sun-rays

I went back to Banyule Flats on Sunday to get the sunrise.  Well, the sunrise didn’t happen, but as we were getting ready to leave we saw the sun bursting through the trees on the other side, so we rushed to get some photos of it before they went away.  I loved the rays.  The image was pretty much this colour, but I made it monochrome and then copied the tone from the original image and put it back on this image.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Now, Monochrome Madness will continue next week and if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is leanne@leannecole.com.au
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

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