Posted by: kerryl29 | February 9, 2021

Thematic Interruption: Black & White When Things are Red All Over

I’ve mentioned, via sporadic blog posts in the past, about the growing tendency for me to “see” in monochrome, when conditions allow.  Last October’s fall trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan would really put this trend to the test:  would it be possible to continue my black & white development on a trip essentially dedicated to the search and discovery of fall color?

Let’s let a sample of the results attempt to answer that question.

Lily Pads Black & White, Mabel Lake, Northern Highland American Legion State Forest, Wisconsin

The Z Black & White, Ontonagon River, Bond Falls State Scenic Site, Michigan

Canyon Falls Black & White, Canyon Falls Roadside Park, Baraga County, Michigan

Kingston Plains Black & White, Lake Superior State Forest, Michigan

Memorial Falls Black & White, Laughing Whitefish State Scenic Site,Alger Country, Michigan

Au Train Falls Black & White, Alger County, Michigan

Grand Sable Banks from the Log Slide Black & White, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Chapel Creek Abstract Black & White, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Stormy Lake Superior Morning Black & White, Hurricane River Beach, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Hurricane River at Hurricane Beach Black & White, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

With an acknowledgment that water is a nearly universal element in these images, I think I did a decent job of keeping my monochrome hat on despite being surrounded by a nearly endless amount of bright color.  While I likely did a bit less black and white “seeing” while in the field than would ordinarily be the case, there was nothing ordinary about the circumstances.  The purpose of this trip, after all, was to photograph fall color.

As a basis of comparison, the last time I was in the UP in autumn–seven years earlier–I think I produced a handful of monochrome images, all told.  On this trip, I think I averaged that many black and whites per day.

The moral of the story?  In time, a way of seeing can take on a subconscious life of its own.


  1. There are always images that highlight patterns and textures as much as, if not more than, color. These are great examples.

    • Thanks. The key was seeing whether I’d still be able to spot these kinds of images when I was ostensibly on a quest for color. I guess I passed the test. At least I think I did. 🙂

  2. When you take colour away, no it is more than taking something a way, it is seeing what is there in terms of pattern, texture, perspective. Clouds are amazing.

    • Thanks. That morning at Hurricane River Beach (which will be a prime subject in the next daily entry, coincidentally) was quite something, because of the clouds over Lake Superior that AM.

  3. I particularly like your rendering of the clouds in your final image and how well they complement the textures and tones in the water and waves.

    • Thanks very much!

  4. Brilliant shots. I love B&W – it always makes the scene more dramatic I think

    • Thanks very much!

Please feel free to comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: