The forestin monochrome on the road up to Longmire Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
No, I haven’t gone into the park, yet. I’ll be leaving tomorrow morning for that. The weather is supposed to be iffy, which means “The Mountain” will probably be in hiding. I wonder if that will affect the number of people who come into the park.
Got off on a tangent there. What I meant to write about is that I listened to the latest podcast (#69) from the National Parks Traveler. It’s an interview with large format photographer and environmentalist Clyde Butcher. It was a great interview, and I’m pleased and proud that many of the things he says about photography, I’ve been writing about in my columns for the Traveler. I don’t agree with this assertion that mountain photography is “a bunch of rocks,” but then, he loves photographing the Everglades and Big Cypress, which are teaming with all sorts of life and light.
Two things that really struck me about the interview is that Mr. Butcher said “what is photography but light?” and the fact that he wants his photos to tell a story.
Give it a listen, if you have time. It’s only about 40 minutes long. Definitely makes me want to get back out there and work on my monochrome shots.
It’s a gray, rainy, cold day here in my part of central Washington. So, I thought I’d post a black and white image, courtesy of a freezing winter’s day in Glacier National Park. Some landscapes were made for monochrome, like this view of the mountains from the icy shoreline of Lake McDonald.
May the day find you exploring someplace beautiful, camera in hand.
Imagine yourself, all alone, walking through a dark forest full of twisting and twisted trees. You know something is lurking out there, watching you. You’ve got to get away, but where do you run that you won’t stumble over twisted tree roots? You know something wicked this way comes for you.
On Halloween, even national park forests, like this one in Olympic National Park along the Sol Duc Falls Trail, can look pretty sinister and spooky, when given a little black & white conversion and some vignetting around the edges.
I know, what a word to use for something as beautiful as the scenery along the Hall of Mosses trail in the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park. Actually, this image (just in time for Halloween, I might add), is a duplicate of the color one I uploaded to a post a couple of days ago. I wondered how forest interiors might look if converted to monochrome. I immediately noticed the clarity and texture of the tree roots, and the play of shadow and light in the scene. A lovely, green and brown serene scene became a bit more sinister in black and white.
Below is the link to my latest article for the Photography In The Parks column in the National Parks Traveler website. The website has a wealth of information about all things National Parks-related. My article’s subject for this month is black & white photography in the parks. The Traveler also has a Facebook page which you should go check out. And, if you like them, then please feel free to “Like” them.
I converted some of the flower photos I took at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. I was aiming for something a little different, and I think I got that with this photo. I used Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro and got rid of some of the structure, but not all of it. I wanted some detail delineated, but nothing that would overwhelm.
Heaven knows I have plenty to do around my home (cleaning, primarily, and trying to study Visual Basic….without much success). What I generally end up doing on a weekend is work with my photos on the computer and then post them in my blogs because I am trying to make up for the dearth of posts during the work week.
I was converting some of my Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge photos into black & white when I realized that I had not done this at all to any of the photos I’d taken during my trips to London and Ireland back in 2011. So, this morning has been spent with conversions and edit tweaking here and there. Below are the results. Some photos lend themselves quite well to monochromatic conversions, and others are best left alone. I have noticed that the black & white photos have a better definition of light, dark, shadow, and texture. I think sometimes the nature of color keeps the eye from noticing these other details.
What do you think?
The Thames and Parliament as viewed from the London Eye
The view from Jubilee Bridge in London
Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland
Poulnabrone Dolmen, The Burren
Proleek Dolmen, Northern Ireland – this portal tomb is located on a golf course behind a lovely resort.
Rulers of The Rockpile
Ladies View, a stop en route to the Gap of Dunloe
Connemara Mountain scene
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
A different time of day and view of Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland
Celtic cross headstone detail
Becky and the Proleek Dolmen (that top stone is estimated at 11 tonnes).
The other night, I upgraded to the most current version of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2. LOVE this conversion plug-in. My aim was to take selected photos from my recent Washington vacation (April 2012) and convert them to black and white.
This software has a lot of very cool presets of which I made ample use, then tweaked here and there with my own changes. One of the things that popped out immediately is how much black & white delineates texture, light, dark, shadow, and detail. I saw things that I never noticed with the color images. This is especially apparent with photos that have lots of clouds.
I’m also pleased with my black and white conversions of people and pet photos.
I finished reading one of the photo blogs I follow titled “In The Pink”. My immediate thought was to create a short post titled “In The Pink…..I Don’t Think”. Or maybe “In The Pink….Not Really”. In the end, I came up with the original title you see here.
For the past two weeks, I have been down and out for the count with a nasty little bug that started with three days of scratchy throat, followed by what felt like a full-blown cold, followed by a return of the sore throat, altered hearing, and completely no sense of taste except for differentiation between sweet, sour, and salty. If you blindfolded me and then fed me a piece of chicken, it would be the same as if you were feeding me a piece of alligator….or ostrich….or tofu….well, OK, I would figure that one out just from the mouth-feel.
Anyway, I’ve not been up to par, but I am incrementally improving, which is a good thing since I will be on a plane to Washington State next week, visiting Seattle, Mt. Rainier, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, and celebrating my and my brother-in-law’s birthdays in eastern Washington.
I like to try and post something once a week, and this was pretty much all I could come up with. Dad took this shot of me when I was, oh, maybe two or three years old, zonked out on the swing set in our postage-stamp back yard in Montana. I’ve been in a state of “zonked-outedness” now for two weeks and am ready to wake up…..but, well, not tonight; I’ve taken my Nyquil (which still tastes bad even when I don’t have any taste buds).
Hope all of you out there are in a better frame of health.
I’ve created an album on my website (via SmugMug) specifically for monochrome (mainly black & white) photos.
This photo is titled: Stormy Scene at Pima Point, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ.
That day at the park was amazing, with the weather changing every three hours from snow flurries to snow storm to clear sunny skies with fluffy white clouds to dramatic frowning stormclouds and rain showers in the distance. I felt really lucky to be standing in that spot at that time….and I was the only photographer there! Everybody else had high-tailed it back to the shuttle bus to try and make it to Hermit’s Rest before the storm hit.
All images on these posts are the exclusive property of Rebecca L. Latson and Where The Trails Take You Photography. Please respect my copyright and do not use these images on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat or any other business, personal or social website, blog site, or other media without my written permission. Thank you.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org