Saturday, 20 December 2014

Black And White On A Grey Day

Though it's often been sunny while I've been at work recently, as soon as I've had a day off it's been dull and drizzly. Not just cloudy, but twilight-at-noon gloomy. As a result I haven't wandered far from the glittering but gruelling treadmill of Christmas shopping and I'm better prepared for the holiday season than I've ever been. So much so that, despite the lack of new photos, I've been reappraising some older images and experimenting with a little back to basics black-and-white, courtesy of the computer.

A woodland landscape from the parkland surrounding Hatfield House. 
A yellow filter effect has brought out the dappled light
 and the contrast between deciduous and coniferous trees. 

You may remember this lady,
photographed candidly on the streets of Cambridge.
This is the same shot I showed you before,
I love the stillness and serenity
and it seems to work well in monochrome.

Flowers are not the most obvious choice for a black and white treatment.
This rose was photographed, I think, at Anglesey Abbey.
I desaturated all the colours except the red,
which has left this subtle pinkish tinge on the petals.
Not quite B/W perhaps.

Another shot from the cemetery in Cambridge.
This was just a muddle in full colour, but
now it has just a little more structure in the overgrown chaos.

A touch of sepia tone
for a shot of ivy stems elbowing their way
up an old tree trunk.

Musicians who accompany the marvellously eccentric
Morris dancers known as
"Bunnies From Hell".
They are famous for wearing shocking pink.
They were doing their inimitable thing
at Thriplow Daffodil Day back in the spring.

A gloomy day at
Fenstanton Lakes bird reserve.
Maybe I should have been out
 taking photos in this drab weather after all.

Take care.


  1. Nice B & W shots! I like how you mixed color in to some of them.

  2. lovely images John. I really like the last one.

  3. It is a treat to see your dexterity with photo editing. I don't know how you get some of these effects, but honestly I have not tried them. I hope the weather improves pretty soon.

  4. An interesting play with your photos. Shame about the weather. Not enough contrast on a gloomy day.

  5. I love black and white photography John - sometimes the lack of colour forces us to look more carefully at the image (this is particularly true of that fabulous portrait.) Happy Christmas to you.

  6. It is fun to play around with"old photos", especially when you get such result. My favourites are the girl and the lake.

    A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your dear ones!

  7. Beautiful in black & white! Happy holidays to you & yours!

  8. Wonderful - especially the last one at Fenstanton. Happy Christmas to you and yours:)

  9. Love seeing the bits of color in the black and white photos. Such a great idea. Been raining like crazy here too. Too bleak for photographs, but now I may be inspired to go back some older shots and play with black and white and color. Thank you for the inspiration.

  10. The black and white certainly helps us to see things in new ways. The rose is my favorite in this group.

  11. Nice that you show what one can do with the right applications. Yes, the red rose is lovely against the B and W background. Also the black and white photos seem to cut away the muddle and strengthen the lines of the subject -- especially in your first two park scenes. My favorite is the last photo -- very serene. -- barbara

  12. Wonderful work, John! The second photo is especially nice in Black and white!

  13. I enjoyed viewing your experiments.

  14. I think it's very hard to take photos in the gloom - I've noticed Mr N is no longer taking his camera out on his bike rides. Even black & white photos benefit from contrast, as your experiments show.

  15. Bunnies from Hell - LOVE IT! Call me a philistine, but I actually like the shots with vestiges of colour remaining best! But whenever I see B&W shots I really like (like your first one), they make me realise how dependent I am on colour to tell my photographic stories. Have a great Christmas!

  16. Drab here too. I'm really short of photos. Maybe a new year will provide more inspiration, though I like your ideas for reworking some.


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