Experimenting With Black And White Photography

For a long time, I adopted what I considered a logical approach to black and white photography but ended up overlooking a fundamental error.  I’ve described the process elsewhere, but basically I tended to tonal range, color balance and saturation – then, if I thought the photo merited it, I would convert it to black and white.   Faultless logic – so I thought. 

Not surprisingly, many of the attempts at black and white didn’t really work.  Each time I converted a shot to black and white, all the color work editing was lost and I had no real idea of how to deal with light and shade.  Recently, though, I read of another approach that involves working in grayscale and doing the editing from there, and I spent the weekend going over hordes of digital photos in GIMP, hoping to bring them back to life in black and white.  

The first image is from Cambridge, and the others from rural spots in north London, UK:


Self-Published e-Book on Amazon: EggHead by Lawrence Estrey

I’ve self-published my second novel on Amazon and am examining ways of releasing the same work in paperback layout, hopefully available within the next month or so.

EggHead falls into the Teen Fiction/Young Adults genres and crosses over into mainstream fiction.  In the novel, the main character, fourteen-year-old Wayne, (known to his friends as Egghead), finds his life disrupted when his mother invites her new boyfriend into the home.  Subtle mind games follow, leading to huge repercussions when Wayne takes drastic measures to deal with the problem…   

Like my debut novel Secrets, EggHead is part psychological thriller.  It explores themes of social isolation (exclusion) and PTSD, alongside an exciting crime backdrop and close ties of friendship. 

To order EggHead as an e-book, please visit the Amazon page.

Meanwhile, my first novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available from Amazon (paperback, e-book).      

Sample Chapters

Newspaper article on author.

Local musician publishes crime thriller

Autumn, Black and White

More rain and mist and muddy leaves.   In recent months, I’ve developed a greater interest in black and white photography. I took these shots the other week and made them into black and white with GIMP using the Channel Mixer. 

Highgate Wood, North London:



X-smoker: The Three Month Challenge

Initially, I didn’t want to blog about smoking cessation, as my blog concerns itself with the creative and performing arts – namely, writing, music and photography.  However, after more than two decades of heavy smoking, I had my last cigarette thirteen weeks ago and have not touched one since.  Therefore, I felt I should include a few notes about this in the blog. 

Just over three months ago, my local GP surgery arranged for me to go on a twelve week programme that included prescriptions for Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and weekly carbon monoxide testing, and I supplemented the programme at home by using various Mindfulness meditations and diaphragmatic breathing exercises.  As a result of the combined efforts, my true lung age has already dropped by twelve years in a three-month period and my lung function is now considered normal.   I’m enjoying the benefits and the various meditation/breathing techniques and don’t really miss smoking at all, although I’m still using low doses of the Nicorette Inhalator.  I’ve also saved a fair bit of cash during those three months, and my asthma has stabilised with little need for medication and my blood pressure levels have dropped steadily. 

In all, pretty good news.

My Second Novel: Brief Writing Sample

I see no hint of kindness as I get closer, no hint of recognition in his eyes, and I tremble, knowing that I’m basically finished. He will never let me go. In his eyes, I did the unforgivable: grassed.  

The babble of the stream blends with my thoughts, clouding them out until all I can hear is water everywhere. Water pounding my body and mind, washing them clean, washing them away. 

This is it then.  

‘He’s very angry,’ The Ghost whispers in my ear.  ‘Come on. Best not to keep The Boss waiting.’

Meanwhile, my first novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available from Amazon (paperback, e-book).   Genre: psychological thriller.   

Sample Chapters

Newspaper article on author.

Local musician publishes crime thriller