March Challenge – It only works one way

ETA:  My greatest apologies to Jen.  Her email was lost to the internet gods…but here is her take on the assignment


KD’s contribution


Karma only has eyes for color.

StPhoto’s amazing craftmanship



MusicMaven has out done herself.



Last but not least…me.




A discussion occurred over at our buddy KD’s blog regarding our other buddy Scott’s latest challenge, Storytelling.  The challenge set forth was a technical one using depth of field to tell a story through the fore, middle and background in a single shot.   If you think of Ansel Adams’s work…

…the close trees, the valley in the middle and the grand mountains are all in focus, classic technical “storytelling”.

Well, the comments on KD’s site turned to discuss whether photos always had to tell a story or not.  I became pretty passionate about it, basically saying that if a photo doesn’t tell a story than it is just snap shot.  Viola! A challenge is born…

In ONE and only ONE shot, tell a complete story.  Think before you click.  Say something with your photo. Make us laugh.  Make us think.  Find the subject and cast it as the protagonist in a great moment.



10 thoughts on “March Challenge – It only works one way

  1. This was a challenge for me, Shrew. I enjoy color photography. Even when the color is very muted, I rarely look at my photos to make them B&W. However, I’m beginning to appreciate it more and more as another way to bring focus to subjects like in KD’s glass lamps, the hockey player’s concentration on the puck in the referee’s hand, MusicMaven’s cat’s eye and your child’s angelic face. Putting these with the color photos, you see a stark contrast which shocks the eyes and senses. A fun challenge. Thank you.

    As for your next challenge, I think you’ll have some people wanting to tackle it after mine. Which was successful, just not very well presented. I hope I find a worthy story to tell.

  2. For me B&W is timeless, particularly people. Sometimes I can have an image in color that is just so/so;then I will squint at it, that helps me see the contrast better. If it has high contrast I will usually try converting B&W and inevitably something magical happens.

    The connection between our naked eye and our brain is a wondrous thing. Our brain filters out distracting colors and lines in a way that a camera can’t. Selective focus, composition, color choice are all techniques for us a photographers to help the image display what our brains saw when we squeeze the shutter. I am so excited to see what next month brings.

    Like Jen if the email monster gobbled up your entry please let me know.

    ADDITIONALLY, for the April challenge please put in the subject of your email “***APRIL CHALLENGE***, it will help ward off those pesky gremlins who keep stealing emails.

  3. Amazingly, I find the all the black and whites are my favorites this time around! Wow! I’m usually a color girl as well. Fascinating! MM, that cat photo is awesome! Love how you got in so close. Perfect. And Shrew, you already know how much I love that Alyssa photo…one of your all time best. Scott, I agree that the b&w treatment draws attention to the player’s expression of concentration. I think the color would have distracted us from his face.

    Just a point of interest in response to Shrew…you mentioned high contrast photos being good candidates for black and white, which they are. However, my photo of the lamps was WAY faded…barely any contrast there due to the reflection from the window. When I did bump up the contrast, it was horribly grainy. I was *this* close to deleting it as garbage, but when I converted it to black and white, it suddenly worked! Makes me want to go fiddle with more of my “garbage” photos. Hmmm…in fact, I think I will! lol
    And that next challenge??? A CHALLENGE for me. Yikes!
    Well done everyone!

  4. I really love your portrait Shrew – as much as I could love a B/W photo! I believe that B/W photos have their place, I’m just not drawn to them as much. Perhaps my lack of true love for B/W photos stems from my original feeling about photography from way back that we’ve discussed before; I’m not a fan of overmanipulaton in photo software and I love try to capture a shot as close to perfect SOOC. Few things, with the possible exception of MM’s kitty, are B/W in reality, and that’s what I like best in photography – reality.

  5. You know Karma, it’s interesting that you brought that point up. I, too, have fallen on the side of the discussion that I prefer photos to reflect the reality of the object the eye sees. In fact, my focus lately has been working hard to capture what my eye sees right in the camera, not having to manipulate the color in postprocessing to match my memory. However, I think the more I learn, the more my photographic palette is changing…I “see” differently, maybe? These days I find I’m very drawn to black and white images, where I wasn’t in the past. (Check out James Christie’s photostream sometime…he’s been playing with b&w a lot recently…amazing stuff!) The lighting, the texture, the line, all stand out to me in black and white photos, whereas I find I can miss those things when I look at color photos…the color supersedes the other elements. And I guess I don’t think of black and white as overmanipulated. I consider them a different medium, in a different class altogether I suppose. Just as some photos only work in color, some work so much better in black and white.

    And by the way, I was looking at Jen’s black and white again….very cool shot Jen! I love the angle! Is that mist I see? Where did you take that photo? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tree like that in my life.

  6. Believe it or not, I took that picture the same place as the color one and the same place as Karma’s picture. They are all at the Smith College greenhouse during their annual Spring Bulb Show. The rest of the rooms are also open during the show, and this is a tropical room with mist! I have to give credit to Renae for the idea to convert that shot to B&W. How right she was! I liked it in color but it has a cool sort of mc escher sort of quality in b&w!

    This was a fun challenge, Shrew! KD, I love your coffee beans! Simple, but compelling! Really just so many standouts here – also love Scott’s hockey players, MM’s cat and both of yours Shrew. My sister’s stubborn streak is showing by not even trying a b&w! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Another Story « Views Infinitum

  8. BTW, my color photo is a mural outside Dinosaur BBQ here in Syracuse, NY. If you are ever in the area and like BBQ, make it a point to stop in for a meal.

    If you like Jazz, see who’s playing as they have some of the best jazz musicians in the country most evenings.

  9. Wow, great job everyone!

    KD, I especially like the lighting in your DD shot.

    Shrew, your b&w portrait is absolutely gorgeous. People shots are your thing, no doubt.

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