Monochrome Madness – Waterfalls in black and white

Recently I’ve posted a couple of monochrome images and I have to admit I kind of miss the Monochrome Madness challenge that we used to do. While I don’t want to post everyone’s photos again, I did enjoy seeing what people did.

I thought I might start doing it again. Each Wednesday I will post a monochrome image and hope some of you do as well.

It was called monochrome because not all images are just black and white. I often add a subtle tone if I think the image will benefit from it. As it has that tone it is therefore no longer a black and white image, but a monochrome image.

It has been raining here so much and so many places are flooded that getting out to take photos is almost impossible. Then I realised that I have so many photos that I have taken over the years, do I really need to go out? So for the photos here, I decided to go back through my photo catalogue and see what I could find.

Recently I have been looking at some of Ansel Adam’s work and I can’t help wondering if I could do some similar work. Obviously I am not going to use film and then get into a darkroom. My days of doing that are long gone. So I wanted to try and think about what he would do if he was using Photoshop.

I have ordered a book with his prints in them so I can really study them. From what I can tell his work had a lot of contrast and you were never in any doubt of what his point of view was.

I thought I might try some water images and see what I could get.

As I said these are all past images. They aren’t all from the same trip, but they are from different visits. I took these around Marysville back in 2015 over 3 different trips.

It isn’t an easy place to get to as you have to travel down a dirt road and they often close it. Well they did back then as there was always problems with trees falling down from the fires that went through there in 2009.

As I said I haven’t been there for a few years so I don’t know if they still do that. I would love to go back and see what I could get.

It would be the perfect time right now because there would be so much water in the waterfalls.

It was so nice working in black and white again. I am really enjoying it. I don’t think I will ever be a photographer who only does this, as I like colour too much. However, I think it is nice to mix things up.

What do you think? Do you like black and white images? What about monochrome?

I guess I also want to know if you would like to see me processing more images like this.

Now I’m going to put all 5 images into a gallery for you so you can scroll through them. Just click on one image to get a large view then you can go through them. I hope you enjoy seeing them.

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  1. Running water is such a great subject. I liked your monochrome treatment. I find them interesting: long exposure for the water, but I don’t see much of movement in anything else. In the first one for example, the fern leaves are sharp. Not even the smallest breeze? Or did you get that motion blur by combining multiple frames?

    Monochrome madness was fun. I stopped doing monochrome a while after that stopped. Now I’ve been posting some monochrome again recently, but not regularly, and not on midweek.

    1. I have to agree, water is great. Where these images were taken it was quite overgrown so the exposures weren’t that long, like 20 seconds, maybe more but not much more. No, none of the images are combined. I think the areas were just well protected.

      I hope you decide to join in again and post some images mid-week too. Thank you.

  2. Since the incentive of Monochrome Madness, I don’t think I have taken any monochrome photos. I did enjoy it though. I do create photo posts from time to time so I might see if I can post one on Wednesdays.

    1. Yes, I remember you being a regular participant, so I hope I can inspire you to join in again RJ. It was good to do the monochrome images. Thank you.

  3. I am only an amateur photographer so cannot comment at all on the technical aspects of what you are doing but, with my artist’s eye, I think what works beautifully about this shots being monochrome is that the punchy whites of the water (especially with the slower shutter speed adding to that smooth milkiness) means that the eye of the viewer is automatically drawn to that focal element in the images and from there out into the shades of grey and the rich blacks.

    1. Maybe not the technical Laura, but you are an artist and you have an eye for detail I am sure. I agree with what you are saying and it was the task to make them stand out. I guess I was photographing the waterfalls after all. Thank you Laura.

  4. magical


  5. I would love to see your older works, Leanne. I have been reusing my old photography on my blog for a long time now for when I have nothing new. All of my photos are stored in the cloud and on two external backup SSD drives. My blog has well over 7000 posts.

    1. It is hard now because I stopped that other blog. It is fun going through old photos and finding a new use for them. I never use the cloud, I don’t trust it. I have no idea how many photos are on my blog, though you are a lot more prolific than me with blogging. Thank you John.

    2. Thank you for the nice comment, Leanne, I try every day to upload my best stuff. I have used the cloud for at least three years now and have never had any issues with security or moving photos and videos to and from my MacBook. I can’t remember your older blog’s address!

    3. Yeah, my photos are so big that I would fill it too quickly and Dave and I did look into paying for the storage, but it was so expensive we decided not worry about it. I had a look at this blog and there are almost 10000 photos on it, I was surprised. My other blog was a .com one and I have changed it to private now.

  6. Beautiful black and whites Leanne! Yes, I love monochrome/black and white images and processes in them when the picture calls for it.

  7. I remember Monochrome Madness! That was fun, but I know it was also a lot of work for you. Regarding books by Ansel Adams, you may already have his trilogy (The Camera; The Negative; and The Print) which explain his approach and techniques in great detail.

    1. It was a fair bit of work, bit it was fun too. I liked that I had to do a photo each week and I think I miss that aspect of it. I don’t have those, I’m sorry to say I don’t have any books by him. I did see those, so maybe I should go back and take another look at them. Thank you Robin.

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