Tag Archives: shades of gray

Shades of Gray

It’s not what you think…this isn’t about the book or the movie.  Instead, this is about winter and all the grays I’ve been seeing lately.

I’ve noticed icy grays…not here at home, but while I was in Chicago and the temperatures hovered between negative numbers and teens I noticed icicles hanging from the bumpers of cars in the parking lot while I was taking a brisk stroll around the hotel where I stayed.


And after some adventures in the airport, I found myself in a window seat in the last row of the plane.  On the positive side, I was able to take photos throughout the flight, including this one as we began to taxi to take off for the flight to San Francisco.


So much of the country we traversed from high in the sky was covered with snow.  At one point when I looked out I noticed this snowy map, with roads and rivers etched into the landscape below.

snowy map

I came back home to much more reasonable temperatures and headed off to Los Angeles to spend the day with my son.  (You saw some pictures on this post)  The historic Bradbury building offered a glimpse of some different gray…with lots of ornate metalwork including this amazing working elevator.

bradbury elevator

As we headed out of the downtown area, we traveled through this tunnel.  And because I wasn’t driving, I got to take a photo and capture the gray textures illuminated by the row of lights.


From up on Mulholland Drive, the entire city skyline including the Hollywood sign were on display.  Unfortunately, the day was gray and hazy, making the skyline a shadow in the distance.

la gray

And back at home, I made my way back to the beach.  It wasn’t cold…sweatshirt and bare feet weather…but it was gray.  I’ve been a bit obsessed with seagulls lately, and found myself taking shot after shot.  This one captures the shades of gray visible on the beach this week.

seagull on a gray day

So, for this week, as we head toward the end of February, look for shades of gray.  Will you find them outside or inside?  The result of weather, the color of metal, or on the feathers of a local bird?

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 #gray for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So go out in search of gray…all the shades you can find!  Let’s reclaim those shades of gray and capture images that reflect the range of grays that we see.  I’m looking forward to seeing all the shades of gray in your life…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?