Thursday, January 6, 2011

Some black & white photography

I read an interesting post over on Pioneer Woman’s Photography section yesterday that dealt specifically with black & white photography. She had asked for ideas and samples for converting photos into black & white.

More Black and White

There are so many interesting comments from a mix of readers, from professionals to amateurs like me. I rely mainly on actions to convert my photos to b & w, and several mentioned in the comment section were already in my arsenal. But I learned that there are so many different ways to convert a photo that it left my head spinning.

So I spent the early part of this evening playing around with different actions and downloading a couple that I’d never heard of before and trying them out. And since I have nothing else of importance to say today, I thought I’d share some of the portraits I was working on.

Today’s models are all brought to you from the animal kingdom.


DSC_0384 copy 2 KK Chocolate Syrup 2

Kevin Kubota’s Chocolate Syrup 2

Kevin Kubota’s Classic Film-Effects was the first set of actions I purchased for myself. The chocolate syrup pair is one of my favorites because I love the rich brown tones. And frankly, I’d love anything named chocolate syrup.

DSC_0387 copy 2 B's vanilla II

B’s Vanilla II (free download)

I’d never heard of this one until today and I love the warm tones. I also like the contrast control that it affords.

DSC_0011 copy 2 Princess of Shadows capuccino

Princess of Shadows Cappuccino (free download)

This is one of several vintage wash offerings by Princess of Shadows and the whole pack is available free. They’re really beautiful.

DSC_0313 copy 2 Red Leaf Studios Vintage Soft Tones Dy-No-Myte

Red Leaf Studios Dy-No-Myte

The tones in Red Leaf Studio’s vintage soft tones actions are designed to compliment and not overpower your image. I played around with all three of their B & W actions and found that the tones of this one worked the best here.


DSC_0591 Michelle Black BW Essence copy 2

Michelle Black’s BW Essence (free download)

This Michelle Black classic action allows so much control over your image. I could have gone super dramatic here and had to calm myself down. I loved playing with this one.

DSC_0512 copy 2 PW's B & W

PW’s B & W – set 1 (free download)

Doug Boutwell at Totally Rad Actions helped Ree Drummond create her free action packs and they remain at the top of my list. This beautiful black & white one adds a soft black edge to the finished product.

DSC_0657 copy 2 TRA's Bitchin B&W

Totally Rad Actions Bitchin’ B & W (free download)

A beautiful B & W conversion. To get the free download, click on ‘try em’, then fill in your info. This action is the duplicate of the one he created for PW called B&W Beauty.


DSC_0462 copy 2 KK KPZ Grainy Film

Kevin Kubota’s KPZ Grainy Film


I can’t say enough about Kevin Kubota’s Classic Film-Effects Pak and chose this one to bring out the fur in my model here. Hello, my friend.

Hope you enjoyed today’s critters and the black & white photography. Thanks for stopping by, my friends.

Until tomorrow, then . . .
123 Signature

34 comments:

Raph G. Neckmann said...

How beautiful! And what subtle variations and effects the different actions give. (I'd not heard of actions before!)

Happy New Year, Country Girl!

Country Girl said...

Hey, Raph ~ So nice to see you again. Thanks.

~ C.G.

PS - People, if you want to see some sweet art work featuring Raph's giraffe family, visit his blog!

Deb said...

I love black and white photos...yours are terrific....

Lili said...

It looks like such fun to play around with those actions. And, of course to have such really good shots to begin with too! I find b&w and sepia tones so intriguing. xo ~Lili

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Love these. The cat right above the chickadee? Looks exactly like my Twinkie.

For someone who claims to be an amateur you know a heck of a lot more than you think. I don't even know what an action is, much less how to download one. Chocolate syrup, yes. Actions, no.

Alli said...

Beautiful as ever! The eyes of the orange(?) cat are stunning!

mrs mediocrity said...

now i want to go play with all of these, but i am too lazy to get up, maybe tomorrow. these are all gorgeous, i love the fox. thanks for the info!

Caroline said...

I really love B&W photos...these turned out great!

Jeanne Walker said...

Since I know nothing about these actions, I am completely in the dark thinking about what this all means. But what I do know is that I like what you have accomplished with every photo. I am a big fan of the brown and whites...they look very vintage to me!

Have a great Thursday!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I have always wondered where you got your actions from, what a stunning collection. I love your work, it's simply beautiful, and the actions are a great compliment.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Char said...

i dearly love anything by michelle black - i buy a lot of her products. the totally rads are great too

MaggieGem said...

Great work on these photos and the demo of all those action was excellent!

deborah said...

You just work magic on your beautiful photos!

Stacey Dawn said...

Kate - great job - love that Chocolate syrup one the best - probably because it makes me want some chocolate - now!

Lisa RedWillow said...

I adore the first few here . Stunning work. First light in the morning Im heading to her blog and reading about this. You make it a must. Loved your post. Just loved it.

Karen said...

My favorite in your series here is the B's Vanilla - with the mare and foal(s). Love the effect there.

Harlow said...

The picture of the parrot is my favorite ^^

Catch the Kids said...

Beautiful. I'm going to try some of these definitely.

deb said...

In a way all of this is so daunting...

Your photos show an eye for the essence of the subject , not just an effect I think. I think I want to learn some of this, I think I just like to love your work and others who are able to do this.
sigh.

COUNTRY GAL said...

I love photographing in black and white. I may have an assingment on weekends to photograph for a horse club, I am in the process of puting together a portfolio for the club to see if they would like me to be their photographer, Im no pro , just love photography ! AWESOME photos ! Have a snap happy day !

Jen at Cabin Fever said...

The cat sitting on the bed and the bird are definitely my favorite! I need to look at my own photos in black and white. We focus on color so much, but I love how black and white can change the whole meaning behind a photo. Great job with these.

Cabin Fever in Vermont

Laura~peach~ said...

beautiful ... i dont seem to have time to do more than point and shoot and hopefully upload the better of pics...i am sure my camera has a b&w setting but i have not seen it yet lol... love your pics they are calming in my world of chaos.

Daryl said...

My favorite 'action' is the little B/W button in Picnik.com's effects section presto chango its monochrome .. and while I admire your sepia, um, chocolate actions for me its B/W or color .

beth said...

you know...i think i just love black and white no matter what it is, where it comes from.....i just love it !

Carolynn said...

Love all the the photos. When I see them all together like this, I like the warmth of the brown tones the best.

Andi said...

I personally love the look of black a nd white. But I am not educated enough to notice or care about the "details" of it. I just admire a nice shot! :) Yours are always beautiful. You have motivated me to challenge myself more this year, and also put getting to know my PS program better!

The Japanese Redneck said...

Beautiful! My horse pictures never turn out like that.

Kerri said...

These are super!

Nurse Nancy said...

Black and White Photography makes me feel very peaceful.

Mary said...

Oh how did I miss all these posts?! What fun to see all these!

Here's a good tutorial on making your own b&w conversion:

http://beckyearlphotography.com/blog/?p=923

Oliag said...

This is a fantastic post Kate! I love seeing the differences between all these black and whites...I love the chocolate syrup...I am still trying to get a little comfortable with textures...next I will try actions for sure!

Ellen said...

LOVE B/W!......thank you for the info...smiles.

Donna Boucher said...

B's vanilla is gorgeous!!!!

Donna Boucher said...

Oh my gosh. I didn't mean to repeat rees or you posts! I don't remember Ree asking this...I feel pretty dumb. You got such great answers too. I didn't copy you on purpose...really I didn't.