Black and White Photo Challenge : texture




fun! Second, I can see why it’s a challenge. Third, it’s something I needed—was getting rusty, now I’m seeing everything in black and white (B&W) and in varying degrees of fuzzy. Dammit. However …


that not only can the technological generation gap strike like a herd of slithering snakes, so too can a selective mind. A mind that selects—entirely of its own volition—what it wants to retain. What my mind deems important isn’t always (face it, isn’t often) what I deem important. Like how to drive a well-loved camera for example.


doesn’t seem to do B&W so for my earlier attempts I shot in colour and fed the images through iPhoto’s B&W changers. For this post I fished out my beloved and well bashed old Olympus. I remembered that it does B&W, Sepia, and variations of blackboards and stuff. Boom boom~!

To not digress, today Spouse wanted to go to Windsor to help take her mind off yesterday’s dentistry. Moi too, I like Windsor—different places, different textures. Full ahead all engines …


and went our different ways I discovered to my horror that I couldn’t remember how to make my Olympus do black and white. No way. Nothing. In vain I parked the ol’ bott on a bench seat in the main street and (as far as any of the natives were concerned) spent a good fifteen minutes or more apparently photographing my foot.

Okaaay … the Olympus has a choice for sighting your shots; a wee screen a la most modern digitals or an electronic ‘conventional’ viewfinder (in itself a mini TV complete with eyepiece). I hate the screen. I detest it with a deep vibrant loathing, but I do love and adore the viewfinder—it’s not just a nostalgia thing that takes me back to real cameras and the days of film (anyone here remember film?) it serves important psychological functions too. It removes a lot of distractions when snapping and it isolates me from reality whilst paradoxically making me more intimate with it.

So I held the camera to my eye and called up the menus. I view-findered my way through every single one of those rotten menus. The entire human circulatory and nervous systems together have fewer courses and pathways. I wandered them all, to the very terminations—some of them twice. In sheer desperation I even photographed my foot in case anyone asked me if I were photographing my foot. No-one did. They never do when you’re ready for them … then I bimbled off to find The Spouse, who in coming up astern found me first (foul, Ref!).


my frustrations to an ever sympathetic Spouse I hauled out the camera and set it to screen so I could share (okay, inflict) them—which I demonstrated by going straight to black and white. Even the blasted display went B&W. Right under my disbelieving thumb.


and again. And again, just to drive home whatever it was that I’d done this time that I didn’t done last times phlubba da phlubba da phlub—

—and then once more for luck, shutting down and booting up from cold. Only then did she get off my foot and let me go. Dammit, she doesn’t have to emulate my instructional techniques; but it worked.


and when I’ve finished this coffee (SFX: insert photographing own coffee noises here, please) I’m back off outside to see if I can find another texture to shoot in ‘pure’ black and white. And next time I’ll take Ishaiya’s advice and dabble with contrast and stuff—hell, this challenge and other folks’ advice/photos are as good as a course (free, too~!) — even if you do forget how your blasted camera works.



Glassy pool 2

An opaqued window in a church I was passing, I had to kneel down on the grass outside and shoot upwards to get the effect I was after. I could imagine the locals nudging each other and saying “Dumb tourist—he’s meant to kneel down inside the church!”


cast iron marker

This was set into the footpath. There’s a hint of the ancient Roman about it, but nothing so exciting—it’s actually a cast-iron cover atop a surveyor’s mark. Lovely shade of rust …


peeling paint

Some say there’s nothing so boring as watching paint dry. For myself, I actually find dried paint quite exciting.


half-glugged coffee

Give up? It could almost be an amorphous schlogg of foam in the surf—in fact it’s that previously mentioned shot of a half guzzled coffee. Black and white does the rich foamy coffee-creamy textures no favours at all, not that they lasted very long: sic transit gloria mundi and all that.


Glassy path

I promised a shot of the glass chunks melded into the tarmac footpaths. Here ’tis. The glass is made completely safe by the process but for whatever reason I’ve never been able to photograph it. That brighter chunk in the middle was catching the light but the effect was lost entirely by the shooting. Bummer …


witch's hat

I know … you’re going to ping me, right? The theme is texture, not pattern, right? True — but this (the reflective part of a ‘witch’s hat’ temporary road marker) has a multitude of textures; go ahead, count ’em. And the weird looks I got from passing pedestrians made it even more worth while.


that if I could suggest a theme for a ‘photo challenge of the week’ I’d suggest ‘A Dozen‘. What you do with your dozen would of course be entirely up to you …





4 thoughts on “Black and White Photo Challenge : texture

  1. [note to self: have to remember to log out and change hats!]

    Morning Argie!

    Ooh more texture pics, in B+W no less? I love it when you get all snappy!

    Here’s what I saw on first impressions:

    1. A view overlooking choppy waters (a little odd of course as you were beneath it… submarine possibly.. diving bell?)

    2. A close-up of a biscuit like a ‘NICE’ or a ‘MARIE’. A local delicacy perhaps a ‘MARK’ biscuit? I like the lone pebble loitering in the bottom corner, adds an air of abstraction and further contrast (as if my observation weren’t abstract enough). Also that pebble is very well framed… I like this shot a lot.

    3. On my hand-held-thingie device this looked like an areal view of high mountain peaks in the clouds, but unless you’d had one too many SBs and floated like a balloon full of helium to get this shot, logic told me that my avid imagination had whisked me away [another note to self: must drink more coffee…]… of course you’d only gone to Windsor (you see I actually was paying attention and reading). Mind you, could also be gouges in wood made by a big bear paw.

    4. A cup of coffee without a doubt (my caffeine radar is strong).

    5. Another biscuit? I think this could be a sign that my appetite is returning, if only that! But I like it another good shot.

    6. A shower curtain…. for a… bee-keeper? (a suggestion.. eek… perhaps cropping a section of it on iphoto to pick up on the textures, so that they and not the lovely honeycomb pattern are the centre of attention, and then sharpening the contrast? I too have iphoto…)

    Great stuff!

    Did you see last Friday’s challenge theme ‘Unusual point of view’?

    Maybe you should indeed set up your own challenge. What would my ‘dozen’ be? Hmmm….

    1. I have iPhoto but use it only for storing photos; the other day was the first playing with it (make colour into B&Ws). I’m just gonna haffta get in there and tweak things, it looks quite sophisticated and a lot of fun.

      My cropping is mostly screenshots (command-shift-four etc) so I’ll try what you’ve suggested.

      Dammit, I didn’t know about the POV one … must have a go. Do you have to subscribe anywhere to be advised?

      (Hope you’re feeling better … a whole heap better, it doesn’t sound like any fun at all.)

      1. I have to say I didn’t really start playing with the iphoto editing tool until I wanted to print out high quality prints of some of my shots, only to realise that the print colours didn’t match the screen colours, they do generally differ slightly. However it was something that irked me enough to swallow my pride and have a tamper. What I discovered was that it was great fun and that you could achieve very interesting effects and really bring a shot to life. It’s not too tricky to get to grips with either if you use the quick-edit features.

        Here’s the link for the WP Weekly Photo Challenge:

        You can subscribe to receive notification of the weekly themes, announced Fridays, or Saturday mornings in your case. Then to make your post visible to other entrants include, ‘Weekly Photo Challenge’, ‘Postaweek’, ‘Postaday’ in your tags. Bob’s yer uncle, Fanny’s yer aunt!

        This is the link to my own entry for this week’s challenge:

        (Thank you for your kinds words lovely friend, yes I’m feeling a tad better today, on the mend. It’s the second bout of gastro-enteritis I’ve had in two months, some might even say it’s a relapse. I have a lot of other chronic health issues so when I get a bug I really suffer. But I’m a tough old sort, nice to know all that exercise I do pays off.)

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