Posts Tagged ‘Phoneography Challenge: Black and White’

For many years, black-and-white was the only choice for photos.  Then color came onto the scene and many people never looked back.  But black-and-white can make a photo special, leading the viewer to focus on textures and shapes, rather than color.  The term “black-and-white” is somewhat misleading as greys and sometimes even sepia are included.  Ansel Adams is one of the well-known photographers who produced stunning photos using only B&W and now it’s not only possible but easy to convert digital photos from color to B&W through editing.

Sally, our Phoneography hostess, not only has wonderful photos, she has educated, poetic thoughts about photography as well as a weekly photography link.  You can also find the other entries for the week’s challenge on her blog, Lens and Pens by Sally, where this week’s challenge is posted.

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes.
But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls.”

~ Ted Grant


“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
~Ansel Adams


“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
~Dorothea Lange

I’m  “so old” that I remember when all photography was black and white, when film had to be taken to the photography shop to be developed, when your file of photos was in a box.  I remember when the only way to share photos was to have copies made and either hand them to the person or send them in the mail (and when it didn’t cost so much to do that!)  And I remember when not only could you not take pictures with your phone, you couldn’t take your phone with you and you might share your phone line with one or more families.  🙂

Photography has greatly changed since those days, yet there is still an appeal and a place for black and white photography. Black and white helps you focus on the subject of the photo, rather than the colors, on texture and shapes.  On the third Monday of the month, B&W is our challenge theme.  I’ve often gone with photos that are naturally black and white but these two photos were edited slightly to make them completely fit the challenge.  The first was edited in Adobe Photoshop Express, the new toy for my iPad, while the second was edited in Picasa.  So many editing apps, so little editing time.  The first is of ice crystals on the windshield of my husband’s car.  The second is of water sliding across the surface of my non-stick griddle.  Who would think there could be so much beauty in these simple things?



It’s Monday and time once again for the Phoneography Challenge.  If you take photos with a phone, you should consider joining us on Mondays (or throughout the week) for the Phoneography Challenge.  Where will you find it?  Lens and Pens by Sally, a blog of writing and photography.  How do you know what the challenge is?  Here’s the updated challenge list, which repeats monthly.  The challenge themes in bold were added as of last week.

1st Monday: Nature

2nd Monday: Macro

3rd Monday: Black and White

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel). (Animals and Objects are themes.)

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week (31 March 2014 will be the first challenge for this new theme).

Join us!  It’s lot of fun, you’ll see wonderful photos and learn a lot.

This week I decided to go with photos that weren’t naturally black and white and then edit them on Picasa.

photo(129)Edited with Lomo-ish

Edited with Holga-ish

Edited with Holga-ish

Edited with Infrared Film

Edited with Infrared Film

Black and white may seem dated, but there are times that it works better than color to convey a feeling or create an atmosphere.  When you see a black and white photo, take a minute to examine how it makes you feel, then imagine the photo in color.  The atmosphere has changed with the addition of color.   Or try imagining a color photo in B&W.

I remember when all photos came only in black and white.  Color wasn’t an option, nor were being able to see your photos before printing them, deleting photos you didn’t like as soon as you saw them (which was not instantly) and editing didn’t take place on a laptop or phone.  You couldn’t drop by a store and get your photos printed while you waited.  I enjoy these advantages.  But even though it’s now easy to change a color photo to black and white, I also enjoy catching shots that are naturally black and white, such as my entry for this week.  Other than adding my name, the photo is unedited.


Other entries for the Phoneography Challenge this week are easily accessed by clicking on the highlighted words.  If you take photos with any sort of smartphone or iThing, feel free to join.  It’s a great group of photographers.

Not only is this the third Monday in December, and thus time for the Black and White challenge, but it’s also the last third Monday of  2013.   In honor of the third Monday, I have a trio of photos.  The first is one I took at one of the oddest museums I’ve ever visited, the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia.  The main gallery was closed as they were getting organized for the next show but the rest of the museum was open.  It was the smallest museum I’ve ever seen, had scarcely any exhibits and even at $3 per person, we felt we’d overpaid.  However, one of the shots I took with my iPad was naturally B&W and I like it.

The second two shots are of prints done by our younger daughter for the annual print sale at PAFA, where she attends art school.  I hope to soon post photos of all the prints she has for sale but for now, I hope you enjoy these two.  If you’d like to see more of her work, her website is called Eggshells.

If you take photos with a Smartphone or any type of iThing, feel free to head over to Sally’s site and enter your photo(s).  I’m pleased to announce I’ve joined the Smartphone generation and now have an iPhone, so one of these days I might be posting photos taken with it.  🙂


A B&W print of a capoiera class…



There’s something hypnotic about the sounds of the endless waves, breaking and returning, breaking and returning.  The fog mutes and distorts the sounds, wrapping me in a damp coat of solitary silence.  Sunshine is turned into the silver of scattered diamonds on the water. A host of footprints marks the empty beach, perhaps the imprints of all who’ve ever walked here before.

The seagull soars silently past and I whirl, trying to catch him (or her; who knows?) in my lens.  Later, when I look, he appears to be balancing on the tip of one wing.  We were all in balance that morning, the seagull, nature and I.

Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.
~H. P. Lovecraft

Roll on, deep and dark blue ocean, roll. Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin, but his control stops with the shore.
~Lord Byron

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.
~Ryunosuke Satoro

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Phoneography Challenge of “Black and White”.  If you take photos with a Smartphone or iThingy, feel free to join in. The black and white in the photo is natural and I’ve done no editing.


The third Monday of the month means it’s time for the black-and-white phase of the Phoneography Challenge, any photo taken with an iThingy or phone. This photo was used last week as the prompt for our flash fiction challenge, Friday Fictioneers, (my story here), but it’s one of my favorite photos, so I’m going to offer it as this week’s entry for the Phoneography Challenge. It’s also in complete contrast to my entry for the latest Weekly Photo Challenge, something else to consider if you enjoy photography. So many venues, so little time.

If you like writing flash fiction, consider joining the Fictioneers each Wednesday as we write 100 words based on a photo prompt such as this one. Otherwise, just enjoy the photo taken with my iPad and unedited. Feel free to comment or give me useful criticism. It’s always appreciated.

Earlier this year, Naperville experienced some severe flooding which fortunately didn’t impact us or our rental house.  The river running through downtown turned the river walk area into a torrent that overflowed its banks and decimated the basements of the riverside businesses.  There was so much rain that even the parking lot of one of the grocery stores, lower than the surrounding streets, turned into a shallow lake in which empty carts languished, giving it a distinctly lonely appearance which I hope this photo captured.


This week’s challenge is black and white and I confess that I don’t know how to do this on my iPad and as my life is quite hectic right now, I don’t have time to figure out if and how I can do it. But here’s my photo that turned out to be black and white.(Perhaps this is ironic, as there’s a drink, made with Guinness and a pale ale, called a black-and-tan.)   Since the “rules” are rather flexible here and the participants forgiving, I believe this will be acceptable. If not, I’m ready to dodge the virtual wet noodle flogging.

To see the” legitimate” entries, click here.  I’ll be doing another (unexpected) two-day driving trip, so once again, I must apologize for possibly not getting to visit everyone else’s entries or sites.  The next two weeks will be crazy and then I hope I’ll be back to a more regular schedule.  Thanks for your understanding and for all your likes and comments.  It means a lot to me!