Hello and thank you for calling in...

My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

black & white project

The project I set at the latest photography club was black & white photography. I took along a whole lot of objects and left the group to position them and the lighting to produce dynamic shots.

The idea was that arranged well, everyday objects can have huge impact in black & white.

It was so interesting to observe the different approaches of each person and how some objects enthralled and others did not inspire them.

The spoons for example were largely untouched but arranged on a mirror, given a harsh light overhead and a grainy edit afterwards I think they look good.

The cards and dice were most popular along with the dominoes and produced some fabulous shots by the group once we had the lighting right. Arranged on a simple black bed sheet with two small table lamps, the contrast and shadows were thrilling.
Half of the challenge was to be able to envisage how the shots would look in black and white as most of the cameras were taking shots in colour. My SLR can be set to black & white but I knew many of the others cameras couldn't so I had taken mostly objects that were deliberately black and white to make the challenge easier.
But for the second part of the project I'd also taken several brightly coloured objects, such as fruit and this the group found most challenging to arrange into a composition that would be dynamic without colour.

Think about the senses that you are using when you engage with an object, take a strawberry the first sense engaged is sight, you notice first the colour - bright red! Take that away and what else have you got? Smell -but how do you photograph smell? Touch - pick up a strawberry, close your eyes, what do you feel? its texture, little hairs, leafy bits -but how do you photograph that interestingly?

Have a go at photographing an object that is all about its colour but aim for a dynamic shot of it in black & white - its a challenge but it draws you into the process of really bringing out all that objects qualities in a photograph.
An example is this green apple. Take away the colour - what have you got?
Apples are shiny, they are juicy, they are round!

Polish the apple with a tea towel to really bring out the shine, stand it next to a window to emphise the shine or add light by shining a tourch onto it or even as in this shot - both!
The juicy and refreshing quality can be emphesised by spraying it with water. The lighting will make the droplets glisten adding to the effect.

Finally a shadow of an object will show its shape clearly, so stand a piece of card behind the apple and position the tourch to cast a perfect round shadow onto it.
Here is a picture of the very glamerous set used to create the photograph!


  1. Wow Helen, great B&W concepts, very creative!!! I will commenting as anonymous, for your blog won't accept my google account....very weird. Thank You so much for your comments on my Dorset Falls series....Susan :)


  2. Hi Susan, I'm so sorry my blog wont accept your google account - how strange,I'll look into it straight away!
    thank you for your lovely comment :0)