Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge _ Black and White: The Basics

Composing myself for a Challenge

This month Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge is about black and white photography. This is an area that I don’t wander into much. I bought my first roll of colour film in the early 1970s and after that had little use for black and white. I do appreciate the dramatic quality of some black and white photographs more now that I am older but generally I want to portray the world in living colour. I do sometimes use black and white to create a more retro look or if I feel that the colours in a photo don’t work I’ll try black and white before I dump it. Sometimes it works out better.

I have not really used RAW before either and after consulting my camera manual to find the RAW button went out to take some pictures in the garden. Sadly it appears I did something wrong. I guess you have to press the button before every shot, I ended up with jpegs after all and changed them to black and white with Picasa which is my preferred editing software.

I set out to take more abstract pictures than usual looking for texture and detail. It was a bright sunny day so not ideal for what I wanted to do.

I have cropped  and straightened some photos and either used the Black and White feature or filtered black and white. For the next one I used a feature called Holga-ish which I thought was more interesting. It not only turns the photo black and white but gives the effect of being taken with one of those old plastic cameras.




I do think that using black and white seems appropriate for an old, slightly scruffy house like mine. The sky certainly looks better. I love to see a bright blue sky but in this case maybe it is a bit distracting because there is so much of it. On the other hand I did prefer the colour version of the one with the bench as I liked the bright reflection in the window surrounded by neutral colours. I am not sure if I quite “get” digital black and white photography yet so I’m glad we are continuing with this subject next month.



I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.


  1. I’m like you – I haven’t ventured into black and white photography much. I never seem to find subjects that stand out from the background or have enough contrast. I do think black and white worked well for the photos of your house. I’m torn on the last one. I like the color and the black and white version!


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