Shadows and Reflections in Monochrome

I haven’t been highly motivated for posting on my blog lately. This week’s Lens Artist Challenge published by Patti got me thinking and searching files.

The first photo I found meets all three criteria. It was taken on the shore of a lake on Canada’s Manatoulin Island (Northern Lake Huron) as the sun was rising. It was a warm, calm morning so the rushes cast almost undistorted reflection on the water’s surface and the low sun cast long shadows on the lily pads. I continue to struggle with understanding what makes for good black and white photos although maybe it is just my love of color that creates my mental block to learning. When I think of monochromatic I think of all green, or blue, or purple – not black and white. I don’t dislike black and white photography and bloggers have posted some beautiful photographs in response to this challenge. In fact, I really like looking at this one so maybe that is one of the best criterion for a good black and white image.

I am always intrigued by cypress knees – these were taken in the Florida Everglades. It seems that black & white gives them an other-worldly look, especially as they are reflected on the water.

Black and white seems to do well for this structure in the Fredrick Meijer Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan as the shadows under the roofing structures draw the eye to focusing on the architectural design.

We are currently in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and yesterday we took a stroll around the living museum that is Old Salem. Many of the building of Salem College are a part of the museum and I will be doing a post soon on this very special place. One of the things that caught my eye yesterday was the reflection on the old glass in one of the buildings. I first learned about the distorting properties of old glass when I was being rocked by my grandmother many, many years ago. Probably the glass wasn’t that old way back then.

Thanks, Patti, for inspiring me to think in black and white as I found examples of reflections and shadows.

16 thoughts on “Shadows and Reflections in Monochrome

  1. You’ve found some great B&W images for the challenge – I especially like the cypress knees! I think a good B&W shot needs both contrast and a degree of simplicity. If the light is flat and/or the image full of details, the eye struggles to make sense of it without colour. But removing colour allows elements such as shape and texture to stand out.


  2. I love the top one with the lily pads and the reeds, and then I saw ‘cypress knees’ – and wondered whether it was an autocorrection of cypress trees. Wikipedia to the rescue – and what interesting structures cypress knees, are. πŸ™‚


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