I took advantage of some beautiful winter weather to take a mini retreat at the coast. While walking on the beach I encountered this pile of stones that someone left. I liked the colors of some of the stones but in the end it was the textures and shapes that really spoke to me so I converted it to black and white and added a high pass filter to really bring out those textures.
Can’t say that I have been very productive this past week. I think I was fighting off the flu that is going around so I will use that as an excuse. I did spend some time working on my Black and White photography course and this was one of the images I converted for my homework assignment. So with little else to work from it gets the nod for image of the week.
Do Stones Feel?
Do stones feel?
Do they love their life?
Or does their patience drown out everything else?
When I walk on the beach I gather a few
white ones, dark ones, the multiple colors.
Don’t worry, I say, I’ll bring you back, and I do.
Is the tree as it rises delighted with its many
each one like a poem?
Are the clouds glad to unburden their bundles of rain?
Most of the world says no, no, it’s not possible.
I refuse to think to such a conclusion.
Too terrible it would be, to be wrong.
To say I’m not feeling it today would be a gross understatement. It feels like there is nothing left to photograph. I know that’s not true. I even have a few ideas on how to finish out the week. But today, I’m not feeling it. So I went to October and looked for something to process. I thought these acorns might look good in black and white. I looked for acorn poems. I was not inspired. Then I remembered I promised you something from Mary Oliver. Just started flipping through Devotions and came up with this one. I hope you enjoy.
The seasons send their ruin as they go,
For in the spring the narciss shows its head
Nor withers till the rose has flamed to red,
And in the autumn purple violets blow,
And the slim crocus stirs the winter snow;
Wherefore yon leafless trees will bloom again
And this grey land grow green with summer rain
And send up cowslips for some boy to mow.
But what of life whose bitter hungry sea
Flows at our heels, and gloom of sunless night
Covers the days which never more return?
Ambition, love and all the thoughts that burn
We lose too soon, and only find delight
In withered husks of some dead memory.
Who knew Oscar Wilde could be so dark. Well, it does fit the picture and the gloominess brought on by persistent fog in the valley. I was inspired this morning by a photographer I follow who blogged about how she loves to photograph the shapes of the trees as autumn fades into winter. So I decided what better way to put the fog to good use and drove out into the orchards to see what I could find. It’s hard to beat bare poplars for drama against the sky but the colors were so flat it seemed to cry out for a black and white treatment.
The magical sound,
of the cascading water,
I haven’t completely given up on finding fall color in New England but it is starting to look doubtful. There was actually a little yellow in this scene but I could not get the rocks to look the right color so I finally gave up and tried it in black and white and I like it much better.
I started working with my Cuba pictures again this week. I decided it was such a special trip it need a scrapbook all it’s own. And I had to leave a lot out to keep it down to 12 pages in my 2016 book. So This is one of the photos I loved but the colors of the woman’s clothing and the buildings were distracting so I decided to do a selective black and white.
In Photoshop, just go to Select, color range, and use the eyedropper to select the color you want and use the fuzziness slider to make sure you get all of that color. Then hit control J to make a copy of the color selection. Now you can apply a black and white layer to the main photo and let the color layer sit on top. In this case, there was some red on one of the building so I had to do a selection on the building the apply another black and white adjustment layer to that selection. Yep, it’s really that simple.
Nothing like a nice graphic black and white. I was scrolling through the archives looking for inspiration when I came upon this one that didn’t do much for me in color and had some weird distracting things coming through the windows so I went for a different look in black and white and came up with something I really love.
I have been experimenting with black and white lately. This image is a closeup of the base of the fountain across from the band shell in Lithia Park. I can’t say how many times I have walk by it and photographed either the whole fountain or the statuette on top but it never occurred to me until now to photograph the detail at the base. You can also see how badly it is crumbling when looked at up close. But part of the beauty of the 100 days project is I go back to places I’ve been before and see things I’ve missed or from a new perspective.