They say that some animals see the world in black and white , I would love to be able to switch this ability on and off when out and about with my Nikon, you can see the results of taking a shot in black and white very quickly on the back of the camera but having the ability to view the world in-front of you in monochrome would be a perfect gift for many photographers, even more so if you love the light that can be captured using only the shades from white to black.
This image was taken a while back, one early spring morning while out for a walk, up a lane that passed through a local community of special needs people near Callan, county Kilkenny. It was a foggy morning but by the time of this shot a lot of the mist had lifted. the atmosphere was wonderful.
Today is a Public Holiday here in Ireland and the last before Christmas, So I went out this morning for a long walk with The Dog. The Weather is very wintry with heavy rain, perfect weather to get some moody Images as I walked along some of our local country lanes.
The Seasons are turning very quickly now and winter is coming, these walks will be cold and wet for a few weeks, yet this time of year brings its own atmosphere, one that I love very much. Its great to return home put the fire on and have a hot drink or some warm soup.
Against Winter –
The truth is dark under your eyelids.
What are you going to do about it?
The birds are silent; there’s no one to ask.
All day long you’ll squint at the gray sky.
When the wind blows you’ll shiver like straw.
A meek little lamb you grew your wool
Till they came after you with huge shears.
Flies hovered over open mouth,
Then they, too, flew off like the leaves,
The bare branches reached after them in vain.
Winter coming. Like the last heroic soldier
Of a defeated army, you’ll stay at your post,
Head bared to the first snow flake.
Till a neighbor comes to yell at you,
You’re crazier than the weather, Charlie.
I took this image back in November on a beach walk, I found the shadows from this drift wood very attractive but then wondered what came first the foot prints or the wood ?
I have been Tagged by Sharon Walters Knight in , Macomb, Illinois on Facebook to take part in a Black and White photo challenge.
I took a good look at some some black and white Landscapes and wanted to post these two images of the Allihies copper mines on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland.
Allihies is just about as remote a place as they come in Ireland !!
These two black and white images show just one of the pump houses, I think there are about 6 of them still standing around the small village. It was In 1812 when life in Allihies changed utterly as a rich copper deposit was discovered in the area and the biggest copper mining enterprise in Ireland was established by the Puxley family .
The steam engine and pump house took water out from the mine shafts and both lowered the miners into and out of the mines some 250 feet below the hill sides. Its hard to imagine now the life these miners had , many did not live that long doing this work.
The Landscape around the mines is just wonderful with mountains facing the coastline of west cork, again its hard to image how the noise and smell of these pump houses change this location and the site of hundreds of miners returning home after a days work must have been something to see, they shared small homes and mostly 20 of them shared the same small house.
Allihies copper mines in black and white .
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Gallery of a foggy morning in Callan, County Kilkenny
Happy Halloween to you all !
Today my post contains some images at the old estate church yard of Temple Michael, Ballynatray Estate, Cherrymount, county cork, and one of my most loved poems by Thomas Hardy, a true poet from the hight of the 1800’s Gothic period and a Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot.
So tonight when it goes dark if I were you I would light a fire, lock the doors and windows and stay inside as the time is tonight when The “soon to-be Forgotten” rise.
By Thomas Hardy
I heard a small sad sound,
And stood awhile among the tombs around:
“Wherefore, old friends,” said I, “are you distrest,
Now, screened from life’s unrest?”
—”O not at being here;
But that our future second death is near;
When, with the living, memory of us numbs,
And blank oblivion comes!
“These, our sped ancestry,
Lie here embraced by deeper death than we;
Nor shape nor thought of theirs can you descry
With keenest backward eye.
“They count as quite forgot;
They are as men who have existed not;
Theirs is a loss past loss of fitful breath;
It is the second death.
“We here, as yet, each day
Are blest with dear recall; as yet, can say
We hold in some soul loved continuance
Of shape and voice and glance.
“But what has been will be —
First memory, then oblivion’s swallowing sea;
Like men foregone, shall we merge into those
Whose story no one knows.
“For which of us could hope
To show in life that world-awakening scope
Granted the few whose memory none lets die,
But all men magnify?
“We were but Fortune’s sport;
Things true, things lovely, things of good report
We neither shunned nor sought … We see our bourne,
And seeing it we mourn.”
The Irish Landscape offers some of the most wonderful views in this part of Europe, with rolling mountains and rocky, spectacular coastlines, there are many forests and powerful flowing rivers.
One of the area’s of photography I love the most is black and white and I feel that the Irish landscape is made for black and white images, often the days are wet and stormy and dark. I feel that shooting images in black and white captures these atmospheric days very well. On good weather days in the summer months getting out early or late to capture the sun low in the sky also works very well in a black and white photograph.
Below are some of the black and white images I am most happy with, so far during 2014.
Irish landscape photography – Black and White Gallery
One of my all-time favourite photographers James Ravilious, once while being interviewed by the BBC said about the colour Green in the Landscape :
“England is a very green country, and “greenness” creates a monotonal view, and one that it’s difficult to achieve much contrast or colour gradation in. Transposing to black and white allows you a richer tone palatte, and to draw attention to the subject more subtly. Black and white contains a bright silver to deep black tone range in landscape images and thus turns a green flat image into a wonderful tonal picture”
This monochrome effect in landscape images is something that has always interested me, Landscape photographers like Ravilious used Black and white film, which when developed correctly in the dark room produces the wonderful tones he talks about.
River Torridge at Sunrise © James Ravilious
I have worked for a long time to both find landscape subjects and black and white processes that can help in getting me close to the same results.
This blog contains many of the black and white landscape images I have taken and in the Gallery below I want to use some local Landscape images to show, how landscapes taken in colour can look when processed in Black and white.
I have placed the colour images first followed by the black and white images, have a good look at them, see what you think and comment if you like.
Some photographers don’t get black and white others love it and will only produce images in monochrome.
Green or Black and white Gallery
Five images from the Comeragh Mountains
Just a mini gallery of black and white images taken in and around the Comeragh mountains, during the winter months last year.
This coming year I will continue to capture this wild place. some how the winter feels very much at home in these mountains.