Contrasts in light and texture

Cee’s Compose Yourself has turned to black and white photography this month.

Textures can make a black and white photo work.  Furs and feathers of animals can thus show off in a black and white picture.





In this picture, the different textures of the individual light feathers and the skin of the dark comb and wattle are effectively juxtaposed.


This pony stands out from the blur of the background.  It works well in monochrome because of the colour differences in the coat and mane but equally because the longer, curlier hair of the mane creates a different texture as shorter  coat. The background stays a ablur.




The detail of this sculpture is completely different as it is made up of hard metal.

Yet it works because the roughness and flaking of the material creates an interesting texture that becomes visible in the monochrome.









Three different textures dominate in this picture – the polished plastic of the spectacle frames next to the soft smoothness of the skin next to the frizzy hair accentuate this portrait.







The same effect can be seen here – smooth skin next to hair.  I find that often portraits work better in black and white, they can be much more flattering to the subject.




And here a  last example of difference in texture, again facial hair but it is juxtaposed with the shiny silver beads.


Contrast can of course also come from light differences.  In the above pictures this was a visible component as well but it is more pronounced in the following ones.


The bright white bench surrounded by dark, almost black foliage. Contrast doesn’t come much harder than this.


The colour version of this photo shows off the newer, lighter green gingko leaves against the older, darker ones.  It works well in green but I think is more dramatic in black and white.


This gerbera also contrasts the front petals with the dark stem and leaves but has shades of grey to offer as well.


This filled tulip stands out against the dark background but the leaves show contrast in themselves – the grey feathery details almost look as if drawn with a thin brush.

Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge: #23 Black and White: The Basics




10 thoughts on “Contrasts in light and texture

  1. You made some wonderful points about photographing people. The contrasts with skin or what is next to skin. And you are also right, black and white usually helps people look good with proper contrasts. Wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. And yes, you’re right. Although I agree with Cee’s tip to take every photo in colour (you can fiddle around with it later) every now and again I like to send my camera in monochrome mode just to pay more attention to other details.


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