Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

March 18, 2013

Stripping Away the Color

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

When Scott announced his photography assignment for this month, I wasn’t sure I would participate. Black and white photography!I thought to myself, oh dear, not a favorite for me.
For me photography is all about color – yes, composition and subject are huge parts too, but I just didn’t know if I could find any of my photos that would be interesting enough to present in black and white. I don’t react well to black and white photography as a general rule. I’ve had this pre-conceived notion in my head that black and white is always moody.
However, to show my support of Scott’s tenacity for bringing us new assignments every other month ( I know how much work it is to write those wrap-ups from when I did the photo hunts), I decided to peruse my archives to see if I could find some shots of interest. I believe I still like these photos better in color, but I can see some appreciation of the subtleties of black and white as well.
In this first picture, Meghan had asked me to take a picture of her in an arebesque on pointe so that she could use it for an art project.
In removing the color from this photo, I noticed shadows both on the walls and in the mirrors that I hadn’t seen in the color version. I think that adds some interesting movement to the shot that wasn’t in the color one. The Christmas decorations still hanging on the walls are little less emphasized in the black and white version as well.

For this photo, it occurred to me that Teddy could make a good subject for black and white photography since he is really a study in contrasts to begin with.
Teddy has a truly expressive face, and at times it is quite comical, but black and white seems to bring an unusually sorrowful look to his usually clown-like face.

I chose to include this last shot in the black and white assignment because when I originally posted it in color in the “What Winter Means to Me” assignment, my mother happened to comment on how much she liked the “black and white” photo of my backyard! There was very little color in the original, so I decided to see what it would look like completely stripped away.
The photos don’t look extremely different, but I think the black and white looks more like bad weather is imminent.

For a transitional month, so lacking in natural color, this black and white assignment turned out to be one that I could work with afterall! I am, however, very much looking forward to the colors of spring!

Scott’s assignment isn’t due until this Wednesday the 20th if you think you’d like to join in!


  1. It is interesting what you see or notice when looking at a black and white photo that you might not otherwise.

    Comment by Karen (Back Road Journal) — March 18, 2013 @ 8:44 am | Reply

    • It’s true, the picture and its details have to stand on their own without the color to wow us.

      Comment by Karma — March 18, 2013 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  2. That shot of your dog is adorable!

    Comment by Kate — March 18, 2013 @ 10:36 am | Reply

    • Thanks Kate ( I still think he looks cuter in color, lol – tomorrow is his birthday, by the way – 4 years old)

      Comment by Karma — March 18, 2013 @ 8:39 pm | Reply

  3. Like you, I prefer color, but sometimes black and white introduces a completely new feeling. Interesting, isn’t it? Love your choices, especially the photo of Teddy. I’ve often thought that our yard is black and white on cloudy winter days.

    Comment by Carol — March 18, 2013 @ 11:44 am | Reply

    • Teddy can be a scene-stealer in any color, lol! I’ve certainly had enough of the black and white backyard and now we are expecting another storm tonight!

      Comment by Karma — March 18, 2013 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

  4. Félicitations, Karen ! You really presented some interesting photos. I love them all, each in their own mood.

    Comment by isathreadsoflife — March 18, 2013 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

  5. I prefer color, too, but I think black & white brings out textures and details that get hidden by color (such as the shadows in the shot with Meghan and the texture of Teddy’s fur). I like the shots you stripped. 🙂

    Comment by Robin — March 18, 2013 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

  6. I am impressed. Meghan looks brilliant with that pose! Reminded me of the movie “Black Swan”. May be get a chance to learn from her someday?
    I thought the snowy pictures would be ideal to be displayed in black & white. Not very sure.

    Comment by sonali — March 19, 2013 @ 10:40 am | Reply

    • Thank you – Meghan has been studying that style of dance for many years now.

      Comment by Karma — March 20, 2013 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

  7. The first photo is absolutely beautiful, so elegant. Also your dog and the landscape. A very nice collection.

    Comment by Giiid — March 19, 2013 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  8. Love the photo of Teddy !

    Comment by sybil — March 20, 2013 @ 7:29 pm | Reply

    • Teddy is often the center of attention wherever he goes, lol. Thank you Sybil.

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2013 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  9. I really enjoy looking at photos in black and white–and yours are great, Karma! My fave is your daughter. She looks elegant and beautiful. Never thought about how you could notice shadows and other details when the eye isn’t being allured by the color.

    Comment by Kathy — March 21, 2013 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Kathy. I’ll always enjoy color photography more, but black and white has its place! 🙂

      Comment by Karma — March 22, 2013 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  10. I love that shot of Teddy! And did you know…even (some) flowers look really pretty in black and white? 🙂

    Comment by TheDailyClick — March 22, 2013 @ 11:29 am | Reply

    • Thank you Michaela. I suppose even a flower could be pretty in b/w but give me color any day! 🙂

      Comment by Karma — March 22, 2013 @ 3:16 pm | Reply

  11. Really interesting observations and photos — & I love the collie! What a beautiful dog!

    Comment by deirdrea — March 22, 2013 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting deirdrea. Teddy is a unique dog, and we do often get comments about him. I think collies are not quite as popular a breed as they once were in the “Lassie” days so he has a tendency to get a bit of attention when we go out, lol! 🙂

      Comment by Karma — March 23, 2013 @ 8:45 am | Reply

  12. […] in the opening paragraph.  Like me, she was unsure how to approach this assignment.  She picked excellent subjects for her Black and White conversions showing details, moods and shapes which might get lost in a color […]

    Pingback by Assignment 24: Recap | Views Infinitum — April 2, 2013 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  13. I missed this challenge completely but it looks like one I would have enjoyed. For a photographer who only likes colour, you really came up with some great photos here! Well done! 🙂

    Comment by Joanne — April 7, 2013 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

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