Sunday, 2 February 2014

Storm Bird

Dear Photo Bloggers,

My trio of favorite Norwegian bloggers (see sidebar) have recently been posting a lot in monochrome, or what I in my old fashioned brain think of as black and white. I remember black and white from the days of film in my childhood camera and even further back to the first camera I had ever seen, my brother's Kodak box brownie camera.

Some of the foremost art photography from the 20th Century is in black and white. The works of Margaret Bourke-White and Man Ray spring to mind and there are professionals and hobbyists out there right now doing stunning things in black and white but it's not an area I have thought about much.

In this age of digital cameras and electronic storage prints do not fade. Storage is not an old shoe box on a shelf somewhere. It is easy to remain enraptured with color but I suspect that thinking in black and white makes you look for contrast and detail and sharpness. So I begin to experiment with a new age of monochrome.

My storm bird was probably a casualty of some high winds and rain that we got a few weeks ago. Sea birds are as camouflaged in death as they are in life and in death they literally become part of the landscape just as in their lives they flew and fished and breathed over it.

Back home I found that black and white isn't just black and white but endless variations of fade, tint and tiny bits of color left in ... or not.

The monochrome setting gave a lovely old world feel to this shot of the lady in a spotty swimsuit.

But for now my most effective shot still ended up being in color.

Rest in peace, storm bird.


  1. Some great photos, Val. I just checked my camera to see if it has a monochrome setting, but alas, it seems not. There is something special about black and white photos, isn't there. Most of our wedding pictures were b/w and I like them the best. Happy snapping! x

    1. Yes and they are still doing it! My daughter's best friend got married recently and the very best portraits were in monochrome. She posted some color ones for comparison but the B & W had as you say something special.

  2. Lovely photos, Val. I've never actually taken photos in monochrome. I like this effect very much!

  3. I thank you so much for the nice words,on behalf of the Norwegian Bloggers :-)
    Yes monochrome (the mono don't HAVE to be black, it can be any other single colour) is still around. One of the reasons is that you can enhance elements such as the structures, the patterns, the textures in ways that can be difficult in colour. Colour can hide some things that monochrome reveals (and vice versa, too), so there is a place for both. And luckily - with modern software one can play around with the effects and influence of the separate colours on the final monochrome output to you hearts content.
    Your bird is a nice example of this. Both the subject and the setting invites one to use monochrome here.

  4. Thanks Rune. I'll be doing some more and testing out what works and what doesn't as far as subject matter goes.

  5. Some photos are really better in b/w. Beautiful post... Happy weekend..