Monochrome for a Month: Week One

challenges, photography

All images © 2017 Lina Forrester

A week ago, I decided I would go monochrome for the entire month of April. I changed my camera’s settings and loaded my Instax and Pentax with B&W film. After the dull and snowless winter I’m ecstatic that the trees are greening and the flowers are blooming, and so I knew this would be a big challenge for me, but I suppose that was the point. Challenges, no matter how frustrating, are often great learning experiences.

I learned just how difficult this challenge might prove to be on day one, when we headed to a nearby cave for some exploration. I had decided by then to do a B&W cave series, and so I couldn’t wait to see what I would come up with. But the sun was bright bright bright, and the shadows were harsh and the lights were blinding. The only shade I could find was inside the cave, which is inaccessible after only about ten feet. Sadly, my only “decent” shots that day were taken in that spot.

We even stumbled upon a waterfall that was just a short walk from the cave, but the sun was bearing right down on top of it. I had fun freelensing the water droplets, but I wouldn’t call what I got “decent.”

Time to buy a polarizing filter (and maybe a neutral density).

The day after, we went for a walk at the nearby conservation center, and despite Goo’s cranky mood we had a lot of fun rock-hunting and tromping through the creek. There was a ton of shade, and I think it was even a bit overcast. It made for some much better photo opportunities.

What I’ve learned so far:

Pay attention to abstract lines and shapes

I already sort of knew this, but I never really *see* these lines and shapes until I’m forced to ignore color.

Nature makes some cool patterns

Again, already “knew” this, but I didn’t realize that even rocks embedded in a dirt wall could be so cool in B&W. It’s made me want to start a series dedicated to abstract nature.

Buy a filter!

For those ridiculously bright days.

Can’t wait for this weekend. We plan on heading to larger hiking ground, where I’ve seen caves in the past. We aren’t allowed to go inside of them, but rather they’re hidden within brush and embedded in the rocky bluffs. You have to keep your eyes peeled to find them. Hopefully it won’t be too bright! If it is, then hopefully by then I’ll have a filter.

Click here if you’d like to see more of this growing collection.

All images © 2017 Lina Forrester

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