Tag Archives: black & white

Weekly Photo Challenge: Winter Warmth

I’ve been looking longingly at all the winter snow photos this last week or so–those gorgeous scenes of glistening whiteness.  I can imagine the hush and the magical quality only snow can bring.  (I know, there is always a downside…the cold, the shoveling, the need to bundle to go outdoors…)

Winter, in these parts means no snow…ever.  Some will quickly contradict me and recount the snowfall of ’68 or the one in ’96.  But honestly, a few rogue snowflakes that melt upon contact don’t really count as a snowfall, they were just teasers of what might be…

So, for me, winter comes in distinctive San Diego style.  Most Christmases are sunny and reasonably warm.  Temperatures in the 60s are usual during the day…it cools off quickly when the sun sets.  On the first day of winter, I caught this glimpse of the warmth in a black and white reflection of the sun on the beach at low tide.

sun reflection in black and white

And at sunset, a little further up the road, I caught the warmth of the sun behind the pelicans as they soared along the air currents before darkness enveloped this longest night.

sunset with 3 pelicansAnd I got a new camera for Christmas, actually my husband and I got it for each other, after years of taking all of my photos with my iPhone.  (The two photos above were taken with my iPhone.)  So today, we headed out to experiment with this new toy.  Of course the beach is one of my favorite places to go for photo inspiration.  Because it was high tide, we didn’t get to walk the beach, but I did catch this seagull in flight.  I love the brilliant blues of the unedited shot–you can see a glimpse of the warmth of the sun on the wings of the bird.

seagull in flight

And playing around as I was climbing back up the wooden stairway access to the beach, I happened to catch my husband in a game of peekaboo as I snapped a shot looking up toward the warmth of the sun through the wooden structure.

peekabooUsing the macro end of the zoom lens, I took some shots of flowers I found near the beach.  I love the way this daisy glows in the warmth of the sun.  The play of sun and shadow seems just right with these colors.


And my husband pointed out yesterday that he managed to keep one of the potted poinsettias we bought last year alive all year…and sure enough, there it was, still in the pot in our backyard with its bracts turning red!  Poinsettias grow well here–in fact, Encinitas is known for the Ecke Poinsettias that produce the majority of poinsettias that are sold each year.  We’re always planning to to plant them in the yard after the holidays…maybe this year, after this success, we will!  I grew up not far from here with a large poinsettia plant in our backyard that grew as tall as our garage before my mom hacked them back down each year after the blooming season.

poinsettia in the wild

So this week I am borrowing the weekly photo challenge prompt from the Daily Post and inviting folks at the NWP iAnthology and and those who follow my blog to share their images of winter warmth.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!)

I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #warmth for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Where do you find the warmth in the winter?  On the glistening of sunshine on snow?  The crackling warmth of a roaring fire?  Hands cupped around a warm mug of coffee?  A hug of a loved one?  Go out and snap those images of winter warmth…can’t wait to see the warmth through your lens!









A Study in Black and White…and Shades of Gray

I was reading a post on another blog yesterday with tips about black and white photography.  The person who wrote the post talked about “seeing in black in white.”

When I look at black and white photos I don’t see them as black and white at all…they seem all about shades of color ranging from dark black to gray to white, and all the variations in between.  The subtle shading creates a sense of depth and lets light and shadow play.

I frequently edit my photos and apply a black and white filter.  I love the sense of timelessness that black and white gives to certain photos.  It seems that there is a story-telling quality, maybe the lack of color invites each person to interpret the photo based on their own experiences.

These yellow pencils from my classroom look great in black and white.  It’s easy to colorize them in your mind when you look at the photo.


And I love the ways my students hands look in this one.  Even without color you can see the sun shining…and focus on those little hands holding even smaller seeds.


Who would guess I took this picture of a fisherman on an urban beach in 2013?


I think I liked this crow better in color.  The green leaves made the crow more prominent…it’s hard to make him out in this one.


This one of the horse might be considered cheating.  I didn’t go all the way to black and white.  I just faded the colors a bit.


And this is one of my favorites…my cat Phil.  I do lots of photos of him in black and white…he is a black and white cat, after all!  This photo is interesting because the color version looks quite similar.  A black and white cat in a white box with black print is already mostly black and white!


The term black and white often makes me think of either/or.  But black and white photos are more like real life…built in shades of gray with plenty of room for interpretation and meaning making.

Which of these photos speaks to you?  How does the black and white impact your visual experience?