You’ve probably seen the black and white photo challenge on Facebook these past few weeks. You get tagged, you post one black and white photo a day for seven days, they can’t be of people and you can’t describe the photo (“no words”) – and you tag someone else to challenge.
I got tagged a week ago and decided it would be a good time to go through some of my photographs. To say I take a lot of photos would be an understatement! I used to think my dad was nuts when he would use up an entire roll of film on a single flower. Now I get it! And with digital photography now…gosh…just keep snapping away until you get the image you are looking for!
The challenge made me remember what it was like to take photos with film. I remember buying black and white film at times to experiment. I always loved the effect and the detail of the photos when I would have them developed. And speaking of getting photos “developed,” it was always interesting to see what the final result would turn out to be when you picked them up from Walmart or Walgreens. For the most part, you just never knew! My dad took so many photos from the time he moved to Bangkok, Thailand for his work and bought his Leica camera. This was around the time he met my mom. Going through his photos and slides is always such a treasure to me. It’s like seeing the world through his eyes at that point in time.
These days photo editing lets us take color photos and turn them into black and white, or sepia or other artsy variations. The photos I used in the black and white challenge all started out in color but I used my Camera+ app to convert them and get them just right. I am still amazed at the detail that comes through with the conversion.
Here are the photos I used in the challenge, only this time I’m breaking the rules and telling a little more about them!
Day One – Taken at a winery in January 2010. This was our 25th anniversary trip to Napa and the wineries were pretty empty as the holiday and new year’s rush was over. We received tons of extra attention from the wineries since they weren’t getting a lot of traffic. I loved the way the wine barrels were lined up at this particular winery and the lighting was just perfect in this cave where they were all stashed.
Day Two – My husband and I visited Ft. Worth, Texas earlier this year and visited the Stockyards. We heard about the daily walk of The Herd and positioned ourselves directly in front of where the herd made their turn. We couldn’t believe the horns of these magnificent creatures! It felt like this one was looking right at me and saying “take the picture already!”
Day Three – This is a portion of the Four Little Girls monument called “Four Spirits” on the corner and across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church. It was unveiled in September 2013 and received a lot of traffic. Everyday leaving work, I would pass it and see all the people taking pictures and paying respects to the four little girls who were killed when the church was bombed in 1963. One evening I left work early and spotted the monument virtually empty. Fortunately, I had my camera with me and pulled right up and was able to take a number of photos including this one.
Day Four – In 2011, I was attending a conference in Washington, DC. My colleagues and I were able to take some time to tour a little and it was unanimous that we wanted to go to Arlington Cemetery. Seeing all the white tombstones stretching across all the hillsides was a sobering sight. Everyone in our group was silent but emotion was visible on all of our faces. Converting this photo to black and white, I believe, shows this emotion.
Day Five – This was taken on a very cold day after a little snow in Alabama. The birds were going nuts in our backyard and flying all over the trees most likely in search for food. Our bird feeder was empty so I’m sure this was their way of telling us to get it filled again! This little guy decided to pose for my camera despite all the flying and chirping going on!
Day Six – For our 24th anniversary trip in 2010, Eddie and I went to Callaway Gardens for the weekend. We toured the beautiful grounds one day and found this beautiful chapel – the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel. What I love most about this photo is the reflection of the chapel in the water. Such a beautiful place!
Day Seven – My last photo is of my favorite subject…my puppy, Lucy! Lucy loves the snow and this was photo was taken on our back deck where she was frolicking and trying to eat the snow. I think the coldness of the snow makes her frisky! This is one of my favorite photos of her too with the snow falling on her black ears and one caught in flight right in front of her left eye.
If you like photography, I would encourage you to take a few photos and convert them to black and white. Then, compare the color and B&W photos side by side and notice the difference in detail and dimension. This black and white photo challenge was just what I needed to take a critical look at my photography.