The world was black and white before colour photographs. . .

… or so some may have thought at one time.  So how does someone who has grown up in technicolor and who stops in their tracks for bright bold color . . .

a splash of color on a rainy day
a splash of color on a rainy day

learn to see in Black & White?

I love B&W photography and there are photographers whose B&W images will stop me just as hard,  both from the past when that was the only option to the present and B&W photography like that by Cole Thompson.  A powerful or even serene black and white image does not need color to draw you in or set the mood.  This is all accomplished using shapes & elements, contrast, composition and, of course, light.   But even though I know of these key points, seeing them, for me, in B&W can be a challenge.

So I’ve recently gone back to the proverbial drawing board… again.  Rewind about five years ago, I took a B&W film photography course (wow, that was five years ago already!) and even then, according to my post at that time, I struggled a bit.  So, I guess it’s not surprising that I quickly gravitate back to all things color.   However, like Jenny here,

one of my first film subjects
one of my first film subjects

who has hung in there, now at 14, so have I…  and every now and then I give it another go… exploring my world in B&W.  white-rose-b&wLearning is in doing…

Til next time,


User Error

I-D-10-T is apparently an IT (information technology) acronym used to describe a “user error.”  Look closely… and it says “idiot”.   Well, if the shoe fits…

This me protecting my gear and hoping not to get run over . . .  Photo by fellow Photog, Ann Ciliberto
This is how I started the weekend, protecting my gear and hoping not to get run over.  Photo by, fellow photog, Ann Ciliberto.

I had one of those days . . . actually weekends . . . with my camera where I just could not get it right ….let’s just say it was a weekend of I-D-10-T errors.

Day 1:  The 5K race photos.  After a long, wet, and chilly morning, a cup of hot cider and a nap, I uploaded my very gray & rainy day race pictures.  Ugg, they all had a blue tint rainy-race-day-walkers-1   I was struggling with my flash a bit, so figured it was that…  Good thing I shoot in raw and have Lightroom to help save the day.

now just a little gray
now just a little gray

Day 2:  A very different day, sunny and bright, another perfect fall day!  Took a drive, found a pumpkin patch and even better a beautiful flower patch.  I had a little difficulty in the super-bright conditions seeing my display, so I never thought about the previous days dreaded blue-cast.  Not long before heading home, asking for just 15 more minutes in the flower patch with my camera, I a) finally noticed the blue color cast was still there workhorse-1 … can’t blame the flash now, time to check the settings.  Who changed my white balance to bulb!?! and b) I also realized that I had not checked my ISO setting from the very dark dingy gloomy day before.   Settings changed, the last few photos saved . . . right? workhorse-2 Wrong!

Somewhere along the way, no idea when or where, I somehow managed to change the quality setting from Raw to Basic.  Not discovered until I was tweaking the white balance in LR (to get rid of that dreaded blue tint) and all of a sudden the WB options vanished.  What? Why?  Then, there it was . . . a jpg file.

now shooting jpg with blue colorcast.
Now that’s blue! jpg with blue colorcast.
even with a little help from LR -- can't seem to get it right.
even with a little help from LR — can’t seem to get it right.

I guess we all need to be reminded from time-to-time of some of the basics; and there’s nothing like an I-D-10-T error(s) to do just that:

So to avoid silly mistakes like mine  Remember this:

  1. Check your equipment & all your settings before you head out.
  2. Shoot in raw if given the option, or your post-processing adjustments become a bit limited.
  3. And the biggie for me . . . take your time. A couple exceptional photos are better than a whole afternoon of mistakes.   Feeling rushed and hurried, for me, always, always causes an I-D-10-T. . .  oh, lets just say it, idiot user error.  So keep the family waiting a little longer ~ It was a beautiful fall day and besides. . . I drove 😉

Not a total loss (even in jpg) once I corrected the other settings, turns out this was my favorite photo of the day 🙂Natures-pinwheel

til next time,

Fantastic Finds


HAPPY FALL!smiling-faces

Fall is full of them … fantastic finds. W-Va-Crackle

On one of the first days of fall, I set out on a “Back to Basics” outing at a nearby farmer’s market. Right away, I was greeted with a handful of challenges, such as really bright sunlight, people milling about everywhere, and a bit of my own hesitation. The hesitation…knowing vendors are there to try to sell you something and thinking they don’t want you blocking their stall trying to get “the shot.” Campbells-kids

One way I probably could have avoided feeling like I was getting in the way, shoot with a zoom lens.  But, it was just me and the 50 mm, and so I made a photo exercise out of it. Turns out, vendors (at least the ones I came across) were happy to have me mill about with my camera and strike up a conversation. . . whether it be about W. Va crackle glass or an old typewriter from the 1920’s (I sure hope it is still there the next time I go back).

And of course, it was not very hard to find all the colors of fall . . .
happy-fall-pumpkins . . . scattered here and there throughout the market.

white-impressions Oh, remember that W. Va crackle glass I mentioned… sunflower-studywell, this crackled little yellow treasure was my one and only fantastic find of the day that actually came home with me 🙂

Til next time,


Back to Basics

Welcome to Back to Basics! I’ve decided to start a new category where I have given myself permission to take a step back (darn Throwback Thursdays is already taken) … The underlying premise is that all that information & equipment I’ve been collecting to help me improve my photography, my art, has grown into a mountain of sorts that has become just too daunting to tackle.  I get just so far and then seem to lose ground. . . so it’s back to basics… back to all those things that got me hooked on this hobby of mine.  Although still a bit in the planning stages, one objective is to keep things simple & spontaneous (or is that two?)  So here it goes . .

A simple prime lens and my dogs seems like a good place to start…

pcpNothing like just goofing around . . . capturing the moment.  I’m sure over the years, I have introduced my “boys,” but in case you missed it:  Left is “Serious P” aka Parker. In all seriousness he has the personality (and voice…really!) of Winnie the Pooh’s Eeyore. Center, well that’s Charlie.  We don’t think he’ll ever grow up… he’s our very own Tigger!  Right, well that’s Parker again and his best attempt at trying not to be so serious.

Til next time,