Black & White v’s Colour
Days of our Lives
A lovely shot of my daughter and our friends little boy. Natural candid shots always make the best portraits as far as I’m concerned. They convey a real moment that most people would have trouble posing. By far my favourite way of making portrait imagery. The shear joy in this image always makes me smile.
The Get Away
It’s interesting making black and white images out of green tones. This drone shot looking down at this dwelling is a pleasing composition in terms of lines and balance, but making the black and white image from the original colour shot was not so straight forward.
I wanted to raise the highlights and really punch the graphic element in the black and white version. I wanted all that lovely tree foliage to pop. I also wanted to lighten the mid-tones a little too, but in doing so, I managed to get the desired effect within the tree area, but the grassy area of the image was too light, almost lost and somewhat indistinguishable from the wheel tracks worn into the earth in the field.
In order to rectify this and arrive at the black and white image that I wanted, I had to do a couple of different edits and then merge the two together using layer masks in Photoshop. Not terribly difficult to do, but there is a lot of tweaking and adjusting to get the desired result. Happy with both version.
Huddersfield Caribbean Carnival
I have always liked this shot. Just something in the moment. This was taken at the Huddersfield Caribbean Carnival some years ago, as the procession of floats used to come through the town centre. I always make sure I take a good volume of shots when I’m covering an event. On this particular occasion, this image stood out among the others. I always thought it might make a cool album cover or the base for an illustration.
In the colour edit, I’ve added some warmth to the blacks and shadow tones and softened the highlights and mid-tones with some yellows to slightly stylise the image. I love both the black and white and colour versions. A strong image.
Back in 2016 I embarked on a 365 photo project where I took a photo a day for the whole year. What I ended up taking however was thousands of images. Much of the time I took multiple shots of the same subject matter, as is the way with photography.
On day 175 of the project I took a shot of a wet washing line which I entitled ‘It’s A Fine Line’. You can see my 365 project and all the images here.
This is another shot from the same shoot. This one is called ‘Washing Day’. A tongue in cheek nod to the British weather and how it often scuppers our attempts to dry our clean clothes.
This shot is fabulous in colour. That super strong orange on a strong blue background. As a hard graphic, it works really well in black and white too.
Goit Stock Falls
You can’t beat standing in shallow rivers and streams to capture scenery like this. It’s worth the wet clothes and cold feet. A decent pair of wellies and some quality socks and you’ll be fine and dandy. I love both versions of this image. It’s interesting to see the difference in mood. Goit Stock Falls is an interesting place that offers all sorts of fantastic options for compositions. It’s easy to spend a long time there, exploring the series of falls that step down this water course.
Edale – Light on the Land
This is a shot that I took walking along Mam Tor in the Peak District looking down on Edale. I love the light in this image, and the moody low cloud dipping into the valley. The strong juxtapose of blues and greens make this image for me. Works really well as a black and white image too.
I have always loved this image. It was taken way back in 2007. Shot on my Canon DSLR 20D with a kit lens. There is a warmth and a softness to the colour image. The softness had probably quite a lot to do with the kit lens that I was using, but also because the light was fabulous that morning. It works really well as a black and white image too.
We had been staying at a small hotel just around the corner from the Eiffel Tower and we were walking into the main part of the city on this particular morning. I stopped and took this shot of people queueing to get tickets to go up the tower.
This is the view of Bruges looking out from the famous Belfry tower ‘Belfry of Bruges’. This shot was taken in 2009. I only edited it recently after going through some old RAW files.
I have thousands of images that I have taken over the years that didn’t make it past the selection stage. There are some belters too. I like to go back every now and then and look for some missed gems to edit. This was one of them. It is so moody, with those snow topped roofs. Once I had caught my breath from climbing the spiral steps to the top of the belfry tower, I managed to get a few lovely shots of this beautiful city. This one was my favourite. I just like the composition and light.
This image was taken on my first ever DSLR. A Canon 20D. I loved that camera. I took some super images with it.
First Light at Point of Ayr Lighthouse
Talacre is a beautiful beach in the North of Wales. This is me out photographing the Point of Ayr Lighthouse first thing in the morning back in 2020. A stunning light in the sky on this crisp and beautiful morning. This is me in my element. Out at first light, the sea air in my lungs, stunning scenery to take in, camera and tripod in hand. Fabulous. Photo credit goes to my wife, Mandy Barrett, who took this image.