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Posts Tagged ‘black and white’

Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) are quite common, but many people ignore them, assuming they are “only” moths. I find real beauty in their simple elegance, like this one I spotted last weekend in the garden of my friend Cindy Dyer.

The butterfly was already white and black, so I decided to play around and remove color from the rest of the image too. I like the look of the black-and-white image, but decided to include the color version so that you can decide for yourself which one you prefer.

Cabbage White

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Winter landscapes often have a stark, black-and-white look that I really enjoy, like this shot I took last week of part of the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park, the local marshland park where I take a lot of my wildlife images.

It was late afternoon when I took this shot, and the sun cast a golden light on part of the surface of the boardwalk (which is made of a synthetic material) and created beautiful shadows beneath it. I really like the contrast between the straight lines and geometric shape of the boardwalk and the wild, irregular shapes of the natural environment.

I often forget to look for the “big picture” in my zeal to get in closer and closer to my subject, but in this case I am happy that I took the effort to pull back and take in my surroundings.

landscape_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Sitting in the airport in Newark, I decided to take advantage of the time before my flight back to Washington, D.C. and play with some of my images. I have always loved black-and-white photography and have tried a couple of times to convert some of my images. I never know for sure what will work, but one of my photos of Christmas decorations in Vienna, Austria seemed to be appropriate for experimentation. I know that there is some good software available if I decide to pursue that direction, but this time I opted to desaturate the image almost entirely. I like the effect, in part because of the graphic lines of the original.

Which version do you like more, black-and-white or color?

Almost black and white

Almost black and white

Color

Color

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As the sun dropped lower and lower in the sky yesterday, I was struck by the way in which the light caused the cattails to glow. Many of the cattails had already burst into masses of cottony fibers and the backlighting showed them in wonderful detail and texture.

I tried to capture this beauty, but it was difficult shooting directly into the sun and I ended up with all kinds of light artifacts. Because I was mostly interested in the effects of the light, I decided to experiment this morning and converted one of the photos into black and white and played around with it (probably too much).

I think I need to read up some more on how to convert images to black and white and how to tweak them, but for now I’ll continue to enjoy the process of experimentation. I might stumble onto something really good.

Backlit cattails in the marsh

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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