A Phoenix Burning

Flowers Flowers Everywhere!

The conversion of my yellow daffodil to black and white gave Shrew an idea that I’d like to pursue here!  The text of her comment can be found in this thread, but I copy it here:

Both are a great shot…flowers are interesting in B&W especially when they are known for such a specific color like the daffodil you have captured.

Removing the expected color from the bloom draws the viewer’s eye to the lines and texture variation within the flower. I know I marked the color version as a favorite on flickr because it is a terrific color macro with lovely DOF. I wonder if you tried to force a more shallow DOF on B&W compositions of flowers what kind of series you would have. Truly, the color is the common thing amongst all daffodils, but each one has it’s own unique line and texture…even a rip in a petal becomes the stamp of individuality.

Hmmmmm….you gave me an idea friend…How about a mini-challenge? A series of unique character sketches of flowers. They must be the same type of flower within each series, so you could do daffoldils or roses, I could do tulips or carnations. ALL must be done as B&W to look for the unique character in the structure of the flowers. And we post them here like Monday-ish.

WHAT do you think?

What do I think???  I think it’s a GREAT idea!!!!  So, to that end, a mini-challenge begins NOW! 

As we do over at Scott’s, please post a link to your photos in the comment section of this post by Monday, Midnight Eastern time,  and I will do a recap midweek.  The more the merrier, so please join us in the challenge!  I would love to see some work from some of our “silent” readers.  🙂


42 responses

  1. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! Jumping up and down. I hope this is fun. My biggest challenge will be lighting….hmmmm…might have to go and purchase a studio lamp for this.

    March 20, 2009 at 8:52 am

    • HA! And here my first thought was, “I’m gonna have to go purchase some FLOWERS for this!” lol

      March 20, 2009 at 10:48 am

      • Oh my, bought three bouquets AND this


        March 20, 2009 at 12:45 pm

        • And you realize I have NO IDEA how it works

          March 20, 2009 at 12:45 pm

        • Your link isn’t working Shrew…? Can I assume it’s a studio light?! 🙂

          March 20, 2009 at 2:22 pm

  2. Pingback: Another Challenge! « The Daily Click

  3. I’m IN! And luckily I already had an image for this challenge. Can’t wait to see everyone’s flowers!
    Here’s mine:

    March 20, 2009 at 10:50 am

    • I love this photo Daily, but you can’t get out of it that easily! LOL
      Shrew suggested a SERIES of shots…..How many shots you wish to include in your series is up to you, but it should be more than one, and each photo should be of the same type of flower.
      Sorry! Back to the studio you go! 😉

      March 20, 2009 at 10:53 am

      • Shoot. I misunderstood… OK, then I’ll have to try to get out and buy some flowers, too, and find the time to photograph them.

        March 21, 2009 at 7:21 am

        • No problem Daily! Yeah, I had to buy some too….not a single flower or bud to be found around here yet. It was 17 degrees this morning. 😦 Everything is horribly brown, with a mound of dirty snow here and there. Not exactly colorful!

          March 21, 2009 at 8:59 am

  4. karma

    Hmmm. Interesting. I don’t know if I can comply by Monday. Jenfera and I (and possibly Shrew!) are off to NYC for the day tomorrow (Saturday). No flowers popping up around here, except maybe a few crocuses, so I’d definitely have to buy myself some flowers. Gee that’d be awful, huh? 😉

    March 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    • Karma…this is the only thing keeping me sane with all the work!!!! You could just buy yourself two small single flowers and submit just two images

      March 20, 2009 at 4:37 pm

  5. Okay, I have two series – forsythia and calandiva. I had to do some creative cropping, and the limitations of the macro of my little camera are showing!

    March 22, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    • karma

      I like the texture of the forsythia branched, especially in shot #2 and I really love the composition of shot #6.

      March 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    • Jen, I liked your “creative cropping!” It draws attention to the height of the flowers. I too had to do some cropping to get the eye to attend to the flowers. I paid attention to my backgrounds when shooting the photos, but when converted to black and white, some of the backgrounds stood out either too darkly, or too brightly.

      March 23, 2009 at 5:46 am

      • Thank you Karma & KD! I wish this challenge had been due a day later – the forsythia branches I cut have way more flowers in bloom now.

        March 23, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    • Daily, you already know how much I ADORE your series. *I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!*

      March 23, 2009 at 5:48 am

    • renae

      Daily Chick, all I can say is HOLY! COW! Those are fan-freaking-tastic!

      Sadly, I had no flowers to photograph this past weekend. I was looking through some of my old summer shots and tried converting some to b&w. It didn’t go so well. If I come up with anything worthy, I’ll come back and post.

      March 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  6. karma

    Here’s my submission:

    Being a newbie to Photoshop elements, I played a little bit with “temperature” and “tint” once I converted to black and while. While I agree the B/W does call attention to such things as texture, I think the loss of color took away from some of these shots. It was a great excuse to get out the Raynox macro lens and play again, so thanks for that!

    March 22, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    • Karma, I know you love straight up color. But I have to say these are some of the most interesting photos you have ever taken. I don’t know if it was because your focus was on tears and shapes or if you are a gifted macro person, but these are killer.

      March 22, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    • Karma, I echo Shrew here! These are very interesting! I LOVE the blue tinted one, and I don’t think you went overboard with it. The edge of the petal really stands out! The last photo is another of my favorites. You framed it perfectly. 🙂

      March 23, 2009 at 5:48 am

      • karma

        Thanks for the kudos – I give a lot of credit to Ivoryhut for directing me to the Raynox macro lens and for her tutelege. I still like them better in color though.

        March 23, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    • I agree, the blue tinted one is my favorite, too

      March 23, 2009 at 5:58 am

    • I really like number 5 – so abstract and groovy! Love that lens, and I like the one with the tint too.

      March 23, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    • Anemic??? I think not! They are lovely.

      March 23, 2009 at 7:22 pm

  7. One more of a different variety…


    March 22, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    • MM, I left my comment over at your place. I love the story that goes along with your photos. Thank you for taking it one step farther. In fact you’ve given me an idea. Just might have to open a thread so everyone can feel free to link to the color versions to show off their lovelies! 🙂

      March 23, 2009 at 5:50 am

  8. Oh lawdy was this tough…

    Here are mine http://shrewshutters.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/black-white-flower-challenge/

    March 22, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    • Shrew, these are lovely! I love the softness of the light…I see that new lamp is working for you. 🙂

      March 23, 2009 at 5:58 am

      • Updated mine to include the color versions

        March 23, 2009 at 6:43 am

  9. Okay, so I picked these very pretty flowers that had dark spots all over them, thinking they’d look great in black and white because of the high contrast….uuummmmmmmmmmm, not so much!
    This WAS hard!! I guess some flowers lend themselves better to the treatment than others. Here’s the link to my set on Flickr. I also found that converting to black and white is a lot harder than it sounds. I thought I’d be able to push a button, and Voila! Not so. I had to play a LOT with variations and levels to achieve a look that wasn’t all pale gray. Oh, yeah, and I know I cheated on the last one. 🙂 But I liked the hint of blush so much, I couldn’t remove it.

    Black & White Challenge

    March 23, 2009 at 5:34 am

    • I like how they turned out! I couldn’t pick a favorite. I think in the last one you NEEDED that hint of color.
      Yup, converting flower photos is not easy! I played a lot with different filters to find the one that worked best, and added some extra contrast to all of them.

      March 23, 2009 at 6:23 am

    • karma

      You really got some nice sharp focus on these. I wonder if any of us realized just how hard this challenge would be!

      March 23, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    • KD, you are being way too hard on yourself! These are great.

      I have to admit that for conversions like this, I actually like simple little free Picasa better than Elements. It is so easy and straightforward. I just did “I’m Feeling Lucky” then went to effects and chose B&W. Sometimes I adjusted the shadows or highlights a little. That’s it.

      March 23, 2009 at 7:31 pm

  10. These are stunning! Beautiful contrast and character! I can’t choose…don’t make me choose a favorite.

    March 23, 2009 at 6:28 am

  11. dalia

    I can’t to look at everyone’s pictures!!

    March 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    • Welcome Dahlia!! 🙂
      I am SO humbled by your beautiful work! I hope you don’t mind…I added you to my blogroll. We could learn so much by watching you create!

      March 23, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    • Dalia, these are stunning!

      March 23, 2009 at 7:28 pm

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