Black and White Photography Challenge

Last weeks post was about certain locations almost demanding they be shot in black and white. This week I’m following up with the images I shared on Facebook when I was nominated to take part in the 5 Day Black and White Photography Challenge.

The premise of the challenge is easy – post one black and white image each day for five days and with each image you post, nominate another photographer to take part in the challenge. It’s simply a fun way to see more black and white images!

I was nominated twice. Once by my friend and talented wedding & street photographer Michael Rammell and again by my friend and street photographer extraordinaire, Valerie Jardin. Today I’m looking at the five images I posted as part of the first challenge…

First up is Jeffrey, who is actually another photographer and a friend of mine. We were both taking part in a portrait and wedding photography masterclass in Budapest, Hungary. The workshop was expertly run by Jeff Medford of Monte Zucker Education for Creatives with instruction by Clay Blackmore and David Ziser. Jeffrey was standing in while we were setting up some lighting, so I made my image of him. The light we were using was a Lowel GL-1 Power LED, which is balanced for tungsten light. We were shooting outdoors in natural light, but the colour temperature of the image needed to be changed to tungsten (2850 Kelvin) to have the correct white balance on Jeffrey’s face, which is where the light was shining. That made the rest of the image very blue, so instead of changing the white balance I converted the image to black and white.


Jeffrey posing in front of the Hotel Gellért in Budapest, Hungary
Nikon D700, 1/40 sec, ƒ8, 66mm, ISO400

The second image was made on top of Notre Dame de Paris. I was in Paris to take part in a street photography workshop run by Valerie Jardin and had some free time before the workshop started. I headed to Notre Dame and climbed the 387 steps to the top of the south tower. The views were spectacular.

Gargoyle on top of Notre-Dame de Paris

Gargoyle on top of Notre-Dame de Paris
Olympus OMD EM-5, 1/125sec, ƒ11, 45mm, ISO400

The third image in the series was posted on Remembrance Day – the 11th of November. I chose to post the Firefighters Memorial located adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral in London, England. The memorial was erected to honour those fire fighters who died in the defence of England during World War II (1939 – 1945). I made this image in April 2014 while on a scouting trip for the Explore London 2015 Workshops.

Fire Fighter's Memorial

Heroes with grimy faces – In honour and memory of those fire fighters who gave their lives in the defence of the nation (1939-1945)
Fujifilm X100S, 1/1500 sec, ƒ4, ISO800

The fourth image was of The Shard in London, another image shot while on a scouting trip for the Explore London 2015 Workshops. The image was made from St Thomas Street, looking straight up along the sides of the building. You often see images of The Shard made from a distance but don’t often see the building from this angle. The sky was plain and boring. Converting it to black and white allowed me to reduce the highlights in the sky and make the tones more pleasing.

The Shard

The Shard as seen from St Thomas Street, London
Fujifilm X100S, 1/1100 sec, ƒ4, ISO200

The final image in the first challenge was also made during the Portrait and Wedding Masterclass held in Budapest. It was a simple portrait showing the profile of our model, shot using window light and a reflector. To me, the image needed to be black and white!


A portrait made in profile at the Budapest Opera House
Nikon D700, 1/50 sec, ƒ4, 110mm, ISO400

So there you have it. The five images posted in my first 5 Day Black and White Challenge. All quite different and all highlighting just how diverse black and white photographs can be.


Photography is about vision; I love making photographs that tell a location’s story – the place, the people and the culture. I'm a photographer with a relaxed approach. I'm an experienced traveller and love teaching others about photography. Images can be made anywhere - right in your back yard or in exotic overseas locations. I can teach you not only to look at your surroundings, but also to really "see" what's there. Photography is more than just pressing a button. It's also about vision. Let me show you how to look, see and capture your world.

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