summer in black and white

In Digital, Inspiration
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Summer is full of color here in the Pacific Northwest. Every shade of green blankets our surroundings with magnificent pops of color catching our attention over and over again. Just a walk down the block, with my iPhone or my Nikon D750 produces wonderful, colorful subjects begging to be captured.

Looking back over some of my favorite images from the summer, I wondered how they might look in black and white. I remember from my film days, loading a roll of black and white film into my camera to capture my children, but hardly ever using the roll to capture colorful flowers or landscapes.

I have some good Lightroom presets for emulating film from VSCO and Totally Rad, so one afternoon, I sat and played around a bit with some of my images from the summer.

My first instinct was to remove all the grain, but when I did that I discovered it took away that film look I was going for. It was hard not to want to make each photo sharp and clear, after years of only shooting digital. But magical thing were happening and I was soon enamored as the afternoon slipped away. 

I had a set idea in my mind of the photos that would be good in black and white and played around with those first. But as the afternoon passed I became more curious and branched out into photos where that pop of color was what drew me in initially, a colorful butterfly, the sunset on the lake, and flowers blooming in the yard.  I wondered what would happen to the photo without it. I was pleasantly surprised.

It is always hard to say goodbye to summer but fall is just around the corner and her colors make me swoon. You can bet my camera card will be full of every shade of orange, red and yellow. But I am excited to look at the world around me with a different focus once in awhile; seeking out the shadows and contrasts of the beautiful season. Playing closer attention is always a good thing.

xo. Cathy


  1. Dear, creative Cathy~
    I love your photographs in color, but in black & white they take on a depth that draws me in & lets me wander around for a moment, seeing details that were barely perceptible before the color was removed & causing me to reflect on the magic of it all. Thank you so much for sharing your talent for photography & also for the text that accompanies the images! They are both full of sensitivity & insight. Mary (Shaw)

  2. Cathy, I love the way the details pop out when you use black and white, especially with the photograph of the butterfly. Such an interesting perspective!

  3. Ah, those flowers in b/w! SO very lovely. I love this idea of seeing familiar things with new eyes. Thanks, Cathy.

  4. Oh my! These are extraordinary! They really do make you slow down and draw you in to look at the details. Thank you.

  5. Cathy! Wow — just wow!! Looking at these, I would have thought you had worked in black and white for years. They are masterful — full of texture and contrast. I’m totally in love with them all. xoxo Deb

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