Spotlight: Black and white

Thanks, Mersad, for the tutorial and a thought provoking topic. I found I was not just visually appreciating the difference between black and white and colour photos but trying to work out why each was better (or not).  Everyone who contributed had at least one shot that was worthy of the Spotlight in my book.  

I saved a favourite or two from each post and couldn't count the number of times I've come back to the computer and gone through them, slowly, slowly reaching a decision.  In the end I had to decide between two of Ginger's photos and kept coming back to her portrait.

I wouldn't have imagined that a portrait would be better in black and white.  But I feel, in this instance, taking away the colour has transformed a pretty face into a strong, beautiful face.  I saw the subject's three main features as soft eyes, creamy skin and gentle smile. With the change to black and white the softness around the eyes changes in intensity.  The creamy complexion becomes more than that, now I see strength and character, the gentle smile now gives hints of a lifetime of such smiles.  The change could have made the face appear harsh but the light shadows on the face soften it.  Somehow the subject becomes so much more than a pretty face. 

I think this would have been a great topic for a group discussion.  All of us sitting around a table with one of our shots on the table (careful not to spill the wine on them).  I can imagine us gong into great detail, examining them one by one.  I know I'd learn so much! 

Dammit!  I've just remembered the topic was Landscape in Black and White, so Ginger's image doesn't literally fit the bill, so I will choose my favourite landscapes, too. I was taken by Peggy's golf course, a simple scene that might not be overly attractive in colour.  I like the shadows, the depth of colour (hah) in the trees and how the undulations of the terrain stand out. 

In contrast to the rural scene, I like Dawn Treader's urban image.  It seemed to me that skies are difficult to get looking good in black and white.  Just showing a little of it works well in this image and it doesn't seem important in the reflection where there is so much more to catch the eye. 

This week our weekly spotlighter is Ginger.

Our next weekly theme is Your Choice - go ahead and show us something in your neck of the woods or choose one of your favorite ideas from the past.

FTMSO is a group blog kept going by wonderful volunteers who love the idea of sharing our home towns and visiting other places through images.  We welcome you to participate in our weekly link-ups and/or get more involved as one of our volunteers.


  1. I loved the contributions to this weeks theme. As you pointed out, so many thought provoking comparisons, and great images.

  2. Well thank you Pauline, I will invite Leny Florez to come by and read your comments, she will be tickled pink. Is interesting that the photo told you so accurately the personality of this 'older' woman. And just an FYI I think a portrait as a landscape ..... The rise of the cheek, the valley along the nose..... Lol.

  3. I liked Ginger's portrait a lot too and enjoyed reading your analysis Pauline. (And thanks for including my 'urban image' as well!)

  4. A great write up Pauline. I liked the photo Ginger did. When I look at b/w I will see things differently. Thanks for choosing my golf course.


Post a Comment

Let us know what you think, in the comments below: