Mission Black & White: complete!

Photo101 is done! The first time around last November was all about me getting off automatic on our digital SLR.

This time, I pledged to stick to black and white. While more practice is needed, this course was again worth it in providing some focus, challenges and tips that I could experiment with.

My biggest challenge was seeing my world in black and white. I wanted to take decent pictures without having to do a lot of editing. To help out my poor eyes and fuzzy brain, I switched the camera display and overall manual settings to monochrome.

A big surprise was recognizing, for the first time, how much I prioritized composition over everything else. This is perhaps why I had so much trouble seeing and understanding contrast when I switched to black and white.

While I’m not ready to move my display and camera back to colour, I’m closer now than a month ago. And a little bulb flashed above my head the other day when I realized I was looking around with an eye for monochrome before I lifted the camera to my face.

Treasure and close up

flying lady from Japan

flying lady from Japan

scooter in the sun

someone’s treasure
Calgary, Alberta

Glass and squared

Like the theme “mystery”, I had trouble with glass.

In the second photo, I squished the lens right up to the textured glass window to capture the tree in the yard.

The last photo is a repeat from mystery themed extras.

glass jar "ball" and mini whisk

ball and whisk

foggy tree

foggy tree

water droplets on glass


Edge and alignment

edges galore

Barb Scott Park, Calgary

locked old shed doors

old garden shed, newer lock

Double and rotation

crosswalk corner

How many pairs are there are there?
south of downtown, Calgary

pine cones

a drop of sap
Calgary area countryside

Triumph and contrast

flower in evening sun


hanging flower


Redoing Moment and motion

In the original “moment” themed photos, I focused on capturing motion with a high shutter speed instead of blurring with a low one. Here is the redo.

spinning flying lady

spinning lady

This very interesting Japanese craft was a gift for my mom from years ago.

My favorite stationery store at the time was on the top floor of the former Metropolitan Building attached to Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo. Near an exit was a corner filled with crafts. I thought these string balls with mini mobiles inside were incredible, similar to putting a tiny ship in a glass bottle.

string ball with mobile inside

Japanese handicraft

Thank you for sharing your comments and adding your likes to my black and white project! It was a great mix of difficult and fun. The best parts were seeing improvement and gaining confidence and a little skill in something new. I’m definitely going to keep this up.

If you were part of Photo101, what did you get out of it? If not, are you interested in giving it a try?

19 thoughts on “Mission Black & White: complete!

  1. Wonderful photos Hilary,

    I enjoyed the course, but found it hard to complete due to nasty weather keeping me inside. I may just give it another go next time round and see what happens then. Keep up the good work.


    • Thanks, Clare! Now, this is odd. I know I replied to this comment and all the others on this post ages ago and yet, all my comments have disappeared. Strange! And a tad frustrating. I can imagine that bad weather would also throw me for a loop if I wanted to get out and take some pics. I guess the other option is to try the challenges on your own time since they’re always up on WP.

      • I think that’s what I’ll have to do. It’s not like I’m snowed under with other tasks (ha, ha).

        As for the comments issue, I think some recent WP upgrades and tweeks have caused a few problems across the board. I certainly don’t recall getting your reply, but at least I go this one 🙂

  2. Congratulations on sticking to your goals. You have obviously got a lot out of the course again. Maybe one day I will follow your lead. I do like black and white portraits, but tend to convert them rather than take them in monochrome to start with.

    • Thanks, Annette! It was great to have a goal for photo101. I keep hearing mixed views about taking photos in b&w or converting later. I’m starting to think it’s an individual preference. I’m going to stick with my way for a while but I’ll try the converting route at some point.

  3. Hillary, I commend you for your achievements. You came a long way!
    I haven’t seen all your hot is as I haven’t been blogging regularly but scheduling posts.
    Congratulations. Your photos are stunning.

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