Archive for the ‘Black and White Photography’ Category

Taken on the Main Street Bridge shortly before and shortly after dawn, Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Click for a gallery slideshow.

My next couple of posts will explain what I was doing hanging around in predawn Green Bay.

Okay…you forced me to tell you why. (Wow! You are good!) The Tall Ships were in town and your friend really wanted to take pictures of the ships,  but she faced two large hurdles on her way to that goal.

#1. Wabi Sabi hates crowds. Not Walking Around Crowds or City Street Crowds…those are cool… but Line Up to Get Someplace Crowds. She gets…hmmm…cranky. You should see her when she boards an airplane or attends a venue without assigned seating.

#2. Wabi Sabi does not wish to spend a bucket of money to stand in long lines and then share her personal bubble with people she does not know.  Many thousands of people attended this three day event under cloudless skies, with temps kissing 90 degrees. My fair skin is a gift from my Irish ancestors and I would have looked like a pork rind long before I had the chance to even approach the first ship.

Given those issues, I decided to be downtown well ahead of anyone else and see what I could capture. The Main Street Bridge was a pretty good vantage point for taking pictures of the ships but all those lovely crack ‘o dawn shadows on the bridge were a real distraction.

Next time: Actual ship pictures.

After waxing enthusiastic about the eyeball-searing color of a high summer garden, you were probably expecting me to crack your monitor with some examples. Instead, I offer quite the opposite: some soft portraits of the most prominent flower in my garden: the Golden Glow. (I think this is a flower that falls under the larger umbrella of “Prairie Sunflowers.”)  You can find her in gardens, but more often running wild in the fields. She’s tall: I’m 5’8″ and many of the flowers are more than a foot above my head.

And, she is a brilliant gold, but for today’s posting, I have removed color from the equation in order to better highlight the grace and texture, shadow and mystery of this beauty, transforming a sorta-weedy wildflower into an elegant lady.

On a quick technical note, I was using a 60mm lens set to f2.8,  giving that wonderfully blurred background and playing up the softness of the petals. Most of the shots were taken in the early morning or around sunset. I was not using a tripod.





I played with the how much I desaturated the colors. As you can see in the two just above, there is just a hint, a mere hint of gold left in the portrait. The stems aren’t really green: they are just THINKING about the color green.

In the next two, I opted for a stricter black and white interpretation:



Six images

I like the conversion to black and white in this series. The strong shadows in the last set prompted me to experiment and once I had pulled the color out, I had an entirely different focus for the group. Gone were the brilliant blue skies–which proved to be only a distraction–and the intense lines and shadows stepped to the fore instead.

Today’s set is not mean streets-noir-moody nor quietly meditative, but I did carry through with the black and grayscale theme. Once again, with the distraction of the color out of the way, the individual structures can be admired for their own strengths.







I just realized that she who was whining loudly for more color in her life went photo-hunting through three counties on the first eyeball-rattling sunny day in weeks, came home and converted all of that sunshine to black and white. Thanks, Wabi Sabi Eeyore.

Enough with the rolling corn fields and other bucolic images from America’s Dairyland. Let’s get edgy.

Denmark, Wisconsin. Five pictures and nary a red barn nor a gamboling calf to be found among them.






Three images

Taken from the footpath near the Museum (west side of the Fox.)

On Thursday night, the view from the Museum parking lot was outstanding: the Fox was covered in a glistening coat of ice and a full moon shone over it all. Wabi Sabi, however, was in full-on grown-up garb INCLUDING girl shoes and sans camera, en route from the opening reception for the Art Annual at the Neville (yes! I have a picture in the juried show!) to dinner with friends.

Because…and I’ve said it before…the whole point of making it into art shows is celebrating with friends afterwards.

I returned Sunday night wearing sturdy boots and carrying a tripod. The full moon was gone and the ice has begun to thin, but I was nonetheless pleased with the results.



I so rarely do black and white, but this last shot seemed to be designed for grays and blacks, shadows and highlights.


Variation on yesterday’s shot:



“Constantly risking absurdity
and death
whenever he performs
above the heads
of his audience
the poet like an acrobat
climbs on rime
to a high wire of his own making
 above a sea of faces
paces his way
to the other side of the day
performing entrachats
and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
and all without mistaking
any thing
for what it may not be
For he’s the super realist
who must perforce perceive
taut truth
before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap And he
a little charleychaplin man
who may or may not catch
her fair eternal form
spreadeagled in the empty air
of existence “

Lawrence Ferlinghetti:    Constantly Risking Absurdity


Ahhh…I have loved that poem forever.

 Taken at the shipyard a week ago.  It was a gray and overcast day which threw all exposures off. Thus, once I had corrected the overall exposure and white balance, the entire sky disappeared. This would, of course, be exceedingly cool if the background for this blog theme was black or at least a dark color. As it is, white on white…not so much. I hope that by converting to a near-black and white the boldness of the lines can take the lead.


Five images

Just playing with some mood here.






Actually, one of my favorite sites is named, appropriately enough,  “Noir” and showcases…daily, no less!…the wonderful black and white photography of my blogger-friend, Gavin.

 I’m a little tired of soft and pretty at the moment. How about grit and drama with barbed wire and chains?






Outside of Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Your friend, Wabi Sabi, is gifted and talented in many ways but one area where she particularly excels is in the Art of Whining.

Why can’t I have an apartment in Paris?

Who is this old woman who keeps showing up in my selfies?

Why are there so many cat posts on Facebook?

I’ve been whining lately because even though my prodigal lens has returned to the fold, my chances for magnificent architectural shots anywhere nearby are severely limited.

Why can’t I live someplace cool?

And then I woke to patchy fog on Friday, grabbed my coffee, my camera and car keys and went to explore the neighborhood.

All of these shots were taken within 3 miles of my house in the space of just one hour. 

Church Road, east of the highway

Ullmer's Farm on Bay Settlement Road. The Bay is below but shrouded in fog.

A little farther down Bay Settlement on the east side of the road


Two shorebirds and a tire:  Communiversity Park on the Bay



 A pretty productive hour, starting with two shots of espresso and ending with a Zen moment near the water. Yes, I’m still annoyed that I can’t live in Paris fulltime, but can admit my real-world neighborhood is nothing to whine about.