Photo Blogging Challenge – Black & White (September 2014)

This month’s “Black & White” theme came as a welcome follow-up to last month’s colourful theme – an opportunity to focus on subject matter and composition without the distraction of colour. Black and white prompts me to be more mindful of textures, details, highlights and shadows – something I appreciate when I go back to colour photography.

1. Canmore – For me, the curving lines and the contrasting textures of water, vegetation and landforms are some of the most appealing things about natural landscapes and they really come across in black and white. Signs of the pending arrival of autumn were quite evident on the first day of September, so I fussed around with settings for a bit before I was satisfied I captured enough tonal range to convey the golden hues of the long grass in black and white.


2. September Snow – The morning of September 10th we woke to about 30 cm (12 inches) of heavy snow blanketing Calgary. Thousands of homes were without power due to lines downed by broken tree branches. As of today, 10 million kg (11,000 tons) of tree debris has been hauled to a central point for chipping and there are still many areas waiting for city crews to haul away piles of branches. September 10th was also the first day of Beakerhead 2014. As a member of the Beakerhead photography team, I headed to some of the indoor venues including the Calgary Water Centre. Along the way, black and white was an ideal choice for photographing the continuing drift of snow flakes, the blanket of snow clinging to the curved roof and the mood of the day.


3. It’s All in the Details – I was at the Water Centre to photograph a blown glass exhibit. It was hard to concentrate on my assignment because the architecture so interesting. After photographing the exhibit I squeezed in a few detail photographs including this grouping of light fixtures mounted on a dark wall. The beams of pale yellow light are even more noticeable in black and white.


4. Beakerhead Net Blow-Up – One of the most popular interactive Beakerhead exhibits was the giant Net Blow-Up housed in an inflatable space. As a photographer, I was intrigued by the way the lines constantly shifted as people moved around, climbing, descending, trying to walk and ending up bouncing along. This is a full-colour photograph!


5. Kale – The last weekend of September, buildings in all quadrants of Calgary open their doors – free of charge – to the public. This includes museum spaces, tourist attractions and city facilities (such as LRT maintenance, the sign shop, City Hall and a heat production plant). I managed to tour five of the 33 sites on Sunday afternoon. I learned a lot and came home with a whole bunch of new photographs taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone camera. This giant kale is one of several edible plants flanking the sidewalk leading to the front door of the historic Lougheed House. I find the pattern and texture of the leaves just as appealing as their vibrant pink and silvery green colours.


I really enjoyed the back-to-back complementary themes: colourful for August and black & white for September. If you have another few minutes, head on over to A ‘lil HooHaa to browse host P.J.’s take on this month’s theme and for links to the rest of the entries.

The theme for next month will be announced October 1st on A ‘lil HooHaa. New participants are always welcome, so if you’re interested, feel free to join the Photo Blogging Challenge Facebook group. It’s a sure way to find a little photographic inspiration!

9 thoughts on “Photo Blogging Challenge – Black & White (September 2014)

  1. Pingback: Black and White - Out & About with the GeoKs

  2. Your pictures, month after month, truly amaze me. These black and white shots are fantastic. The first one … wow. The second… ugh! Snow! And that kale one is really cool, especially in black and white. You always have great composition and the tones here are fantastic. Well done!

  3. webfoot5

    I can’t decide which of your first two shots I like better. About the time I decide on one, something in the other one starts calling to me. I guess I’ll call it a tie. Nicely done.

  4. OK… you have put me to shame in a VERY BIG WAY! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These are phenomenal!!!! Just STUNNING. The kale… the lights… the nets… things I wouldn’t have thought of to put black and white. Now I want to go out with my camera and try some new things!

  5. Wow, I love all of these. The angle of the snow shot if perfect. The building looks massive the way the B&W works the shadows. The kale looks amazing too 🙂

  6. That first pic is simply majestic. Wow. I found the curved roof in the second one very interesting. Too bad about the snow. All in all a very interesting collection of photos this month, Denise.

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