Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

March 30, 2015

Black and White Challenge Day 1

About a week ago, Robin over at Breezes at Dawn, kindly invited me to participate in the Black and White Photo Challenge. As I’m sure my regular readers know, I find black and white photography difficult because, for me, photography is so very much about the color. This is part of the reason I accepted Robin’s invitation, because it would be a true challenge for me. The “rules” of the challenge are quite simple:

1.On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in black and white.
2.Each day invite another blogging friend to join in the fun.

As I’ve often been known to do when it comes to blogging challenges or photo assignments, I like to find a way to make them my own. In a couple of Robin’s posts for this challenge she used a technique that selectively colors one small area of a black and white photo. Robin explained to me this technique is actually called “focal black and white”. It is something I’ve been meaning to try for a while now, and as it often the case, just never got around to it. I had a feeling in a cool editing program like Lightroom, there had to be a way to do it. I searched, I discovered, I tried!

So, for my black and white challenge, it will actually be a “focal black and white” challenge. I’ve chosen 5 photos to present in black and white with a pop of color somewhere in the shot for emphasis and fun. I will post one photo each day this week, Monday through Friday, starting today.
As far as inviting blogging friends, just as Robin did, I am inviting anyone who would like to join in to please do so! Maybe even make yours a “focal black and white” challenge if you’re interested in giving it a try.

Here is my first photo that I tried this technique on:

This is my daughter Meghan and her ballroom partner Brandon at a ballroom competition that I attended (and took LOTS of photos of and fully intended to blog about, but have yet to do so, **sigh**) last weekend. I thought the intense look on Meghan’s face with just the red lips was a good place to give this technique a try.


  1. Beautifully done, Karma! I love this. The photo is perfect for black & white, and the pop of color on Meghan’s lips is perfect. What dance are they doing? It reminds me of the tango for some reason.

    Comment by Robin — March 30, 2015 @ 7:28 am | Reply

    • Thanks Robin! It could very well be the tango. They did many styles of dance that day and I’ve honestly lost track of which was which. I’ll ask Meghan to have a look at the shot – I’m sure she’d be able to tell us!

      Comment by Karma — March 30, 2015 @ 8:09 am | Reply

      • It is in fact a Tango. You can tell because my hand is under Brandon’s arm rather than on top of it. Also, Any other dance I would be smiling for. Tango is intended to look angry.

        Comment by Meghan — March 30, 2015 @ 6:23 pm

  2. Black and white is about tones. I find color distracting in them but what do I know? I think the lips detract from the expression and if it were me, I’d work to brighten her face in comparison to the light from the left. I think this is a perfect image for black and white. I’ve found that understanding black and white has helped me see color better. I think that’s because it helps you understand tones and how to use light.

    Comment by burstmode — March 30, 2015 @ 7:58 am | Reply

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts burstmode. I don’t have much experience working in black and white so making judgement calls on how to treat editing them is not easy for me.

      Comment by Karma — March 30, 2015 @ 8:13 am | Reply

  3. I don’t know – for me, the red lips add to the intensity, but I see what Burstmode is saying about the light on her face. I’m not good with black and white but I think you did a good job here.

    Comment by Carol — March 30, 2015 @ 10:32 am | Reply

    • Thank you Carol. I do like what the red lips add to the photo.

      Comment by Karma — March 30, 2015 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

  4. Beautiful! I love the red lips..it makes me feel like it is an ad for Revlon or perfume. Love it!

    Comment by trish49 — March 30, 2015 @ 5:40 pm | Reply

  5. Thanks, Meghan. That’s what I thought based on the hold and your expression. 🙂

    Comment by Robin — March 30, 2015 @ 6:46 pm | Reply

  6. sounds fun! The photo is lovely. Meghan is indeed very beautiful!

    Comment by sonali — March 30, 2015 @ 11:52 pm | Reply

    • Thanks so much Sonali! Be sure to let me know if you decide to try the black and white challenge – send me a link or a pingback from your blog 🙂

      Comment by Karma — March 31, 2015 @ 7:57 am | Reply

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