Recently, I’ve neglected my interest in photography, concentrating instead on writing and other interests. At the weekend, though, I got to walk a dog – a big Spaniel, of all things – and I had a go at taking photos in Cherry Tree Wood, North London. The sunlight, along with the intense humidity, didn’t help really, but I managed to find about three or four suitable images and I worked on these in the photo editing software, GIMP.
As usual, I’ve included a black and white image. I have a keen interest in black and white photography and use a method that involves working on the original image in grayscale and adjusting the Levels, Contrast and Brightness.
After a long winter, spring finally came a few weeks ago, but now the skies have turned mostly grey again and the weather has become humid. I haven’t had much time to concentrate on my photos, but yesterday I caught several images in Highgate Wood, North London, while walking a friend’s dog. For a long time, I’ve taken an interest in black and white photography. I worked on yesterday’s images in GIMP (Levels, Color Balance, Saturation and Hue), then turned one of the originals into greyscale and concentrated on the contrast. Heady stuff.
After months of cold and grey skies, the weather has taken a dramatic turn for the better with warm temperatures and lots of sunshine.
Below are some image shots I took on the way to work ( location, Totteridge Village, North London):
Like always, I couldn’t resist attempts at building up my black and white photography collection, and I edited several of the originals in GIMP, working in greyscale, then going on to use Levels and Contrast/Brightness.
The snow has finally melted here in the UK and rain and wind are on the way.
Below are some more images from my black and white photography album. Usually, I edit the shots in GIMP, paying particular attention to levels and contrast.
In the meantime, I’m working on a third novel, Silent, a psychological thriller, and my other two novels (Secrets by Lawrence Estrey and EggHead) are available on Amazon in paperback and e-book.
Atrocious weather conditions have settled upon much of the UK and pavements are slippery. Here are a couple of shots of the mist I took on Thursday on my way to work. I edited them in GIMP, then added them to my black and white photography collection:
In the meantime, my debut novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – attracted the attention of a local Readers Group who read it and gave me positive feedback. My second novel EggHead, Young Adult fiction, continues to sell and I’m currently on a third, a psychological thriller.
The weather has taken a dramatic dip in the UK and forecasters have warned of impending snow. Either, it’s freezing, grey and dreary.
On Thursday, I took these photos on the way to work. Notice the mist hovering over parts of Totteridge Village. I edited the images in GIMP, both in colour and black and white. The above two are the latest in my black and white photography project.
My blog is now four years old and has seen a number of articles on music, writing and photography. I’ve enjoyed the blogging experience thoroughly and look forward to doing more.
To celebrate, I’m enclosing a few more photos from my black and white collection, photos taken over the last four years and edited for effect in GIMP.
I took some more photographs on Monday afternoon and used a few for my online black and white photography collection. The process was relatively easy once I’d chosen the most suitable shots – convert to grayscale in GIMP, work with Levels and adjust Contrast/Brightness to get the best results. I think there’s a special Fill stage for printing, but I haven’t got the hang of that yet.
Old Railway Line Parkland Walk, North London (a great place for walking a dog):
I’ve developed a keen interest in black and white photography over the years, but up till recently I tended to edit original images taking into consideration tonal range, color balance and saturation before converting the images to black and white, then fiddling with the channel mixer and/or applying an unsharpen mask. Naively, I assumed that the editing work would contribute to the final result, even though the conversion to black and white would mean the loss of all color information – hence, counterproductive.
Then, I read about a different approach, and I’ve been working on the original images in grayscale, making the necessary changes for light and contrast. For whatever reason, I’ve found the photo editing software GIMP more effective than Photoshop when using this method.
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: