The B&W Photo Challenge [Ally Bean Rules] + What I Learned

The Introduction

I saw this challenge floating around the blogosphere and I liked it because lately I’ve been looking for + doing different things here on my blog.  I’m not a daily blogger, so I modified the rules creating a way in which I could participate.

THE “OFFICIAL” RULES*

  • Seven days.
  • Seven black and white photos of your life.
  • No people.
  • No explanation.
  • Challenge someone new each day.

THE “ALLY BEAN” RULES**

  • One day.
  • Seven black and white photos from your ordinary life.
  • No people.
  • No explanation of photos.
  • Suggest that someone else might want to do this, too.

The Black & White Photographs

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What I Learned

  1. I LOOKED FOR objects that I see in my daily life. I excluded nature, signs, & anything having to do with beverages. This limited my options dramatically.
  2. FINDING OBJECTS TO photograph with no people in the frame was more difficult to do than I realized it’d be.
  3. FINDING A WAY to take a photo of an object that I see daily was not alway possible because getting perspective on things took some doing.  If I was in a car in traffic or walking on a busy street with people, I couldn’t do it.
  4. B&W PHOTOGRAPHY IS a whole different animal than color photography.  Many of the photos that I thought would be great turned out to be duds.

* Hat tip to Embeecee at sparksfromacombustiblemind for being the first person to make me aware of this challenge.

** These are not so much rules as guidelines.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

76 thoughts on “The B&W Photo Challenge [Ally Bean Rules] + What I Learned”

  1. Groovy 🙂 Particularly fond of your hanging garden tools.
    I like the ordinary life bit much better, personally. I’ve had quite a time with the challenge, because while I do sometimes use black and white, I generally prefer the colors.
    I’m going to show mine off on zee blog when I’m all done on Instagram.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, I see those tools every day but never thought to snap a pic of them before this. Maybe that’s the real gift of this challenge– to notice the ordinary things in a different way. Looking forward to your photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I prefer your rules, ahem: guidelines.
    Funny, isn’t it? I saw the challenge all over FB and pouted that no one had tagged me and then when someone finally did, I smiled and said, “Thanks, but not thanks.” I’m an enigma.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. vanbytheriver, I figure that a personal blog is the place to do things the way you want to do them. I liked the concept, so I made it work for me. I hope you decide to do the B&W Challenge, too. In your own way, of course.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really love B&W photography. I fell in love with the old 19th century daguerrotypes, tintypes, and glass and albumen process prints. I still think B&W captures so much more depth than colour.

    Your picture of the barn/bldg. especially appeals to me. It’s just so serene.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, I don’t know much about black and white photography but can tell that it takes a different eye than mine to get a good photo. I agree about the depth. It was surprise to me. So much to learn in life, eh?

      Like

  4. Love: a) the way you make your own “rules” and are comfortable with doing that, b) the bike in the garden, c) are you really old enough for AARP or was that not on your kitchen counter? Nicely done, Ally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, thank you. I figure that there’s no better place than a personal blog for making the “rules” work for you! Try it.

      The bike in the garden is in front of a restaurant that I have yet to try. And about the magazine… well, one of us in the house is definitely of a certain age.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My friend tagged me to do this on FB, and I finally got around to it…after everyone else started doing it. I’ll probably compile mine into one post like you did. I like it!

    (I also took a picture of a bike. GREAT MINDS.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Akilah, I did the challenge this way because I could get it done. It turned out to be interesting in what I learned about taking pictures. I hope you decide to post your photos on your blog. Can’t get too many B&W photos of bikes out there, can we? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the Ally Bean way of doing things 🙂
    I too have seen this challenge floating around both in the blogosphere and on FB. I had no interest in it precisely because I didn’t like the rules. You, my friend, are a genius 🙂

    I found your learnings very interesting. I’m not a fan of b&w and I’m glad you mentioned that many potential targets failed when not in colour. While I like the crispness of the garden tools, the bicycle really works for me. The fact that all the background is b&w allows the spotlight to shine on the bike.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, thank you. I figured that by reworking the rules I got to do something that looked like fun. And it was, but I’m not convinced that B&W photography is for me. I felt frustrated by it, preferring my world to be colorful, I guess.

      The bicycle was one of the few objects that I found in a busy downtown area where I could snap it without people around. That “no people” rule was tricky.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Polly, I can’t take credit for the tidy tools. Zen-Den keeps them there, in a particular way that I just follow. I was surprised how photogenic the tools turned out to be. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

      Like

  7. I’m currently participating in this challenge on Facebook but, like you, I’ve tweaked the rules a bit to suit me: my pictures aren’t necessarily taken that day and I don’t tag anyone else to participate (I really hate to be tagged and wouldn’t do that to anyone else). I like your pictures – isn’t black and white fun?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janis, maybe you can turn your FB pics into a blog post? No need to adhere to the rules precisely. I figure if the idea is to share a B&W glimpse into your world, then do it however you want to. I’m with you on not tagging people, btw.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Betsy, ok, I know that I said that I’d slow down, and I will. But this challenge was already on my radar for this week, so I had to follow-thru on it, didn’t I?

      I like the horse, too. He was all about the camera. The other ones in the pasture were not. Thus they are not featured here. Lost opportunity if you ask me…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this, because black and white photos are so stunning AND you made up your own rules..ahem.. guidelines. 😉 This challenge has been going around on Facebook also, and to be honest, I don’t like these chain-letter type “challenges”. BUT I did partake.. and made my own rules! I took b&w photos of my every day life (let’s just say that black and white makes dirty dishes look very pretty!) and I just had to give explanation… and I didn’t challenge anyone else. I don’t think I have that many friends. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cherylbalcom, yes, I have guidelines. Thanks for noticing. 😉 I’m all about doing things in blog land any old way that makes sense to you. If I was on FB I’m sure I’d feel the same way there, too. So, I’m happy to know that you followed your own muse. Are you going to turn those B&W pics into a blog post?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m learning through your learning. I see how black and white photos give more nuance to a scene. These are GOOD. My favorites are the horse (although to me, that’s like having a person in the shot) and the slide-in-the-woods.
    I LOVE how you change the rules, ur, guidelines. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. roughwighting, B&W photography is something new for me. It was a weird challenge, but I’m glad that I tried it. You’re right about the nuance, and I’ll admit that I debated about the horse photo for the reason you mentioned. But he was so cooperative that I had to include him here.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this challenge, and how you made it your own. Your black and whites are truly stunning. The first one is my absolute favorite. That bike shouts out that it has an interesting story to tell!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love a bit of B&W photography but there’s no doubting that the advent of colour means we now know how much it only lends itself to certain types of shots. Although I’d spotted this challenge on FB, it didn’t tempt me in any way and luckily I escaped the dreaded tag. But I do like your tweaks (and think I will channel you in subverting rules in future) and I thank you for the post idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, you said it. I had no clue about how different it is to photograph something in B&W versus color. I’d never tried to do anything like this before, so I learned. I modified the rules because I can. I mean, who’s going to stop me? Really, who?!

      Like

    1. Good point! I didn’t think of that. He is a person, so I’ve failed at the one rule I kept from the original rules. Clearly I’m not a rule follower, even my own. Oh well…

      Like

  12. There is something so intriguing about black and white photos. Yours are really cool! I generally am a color person, but I like the challenge you took, and the way you made up your own rules! Way to go Ally Bean!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, “intriguing” is the right word. I didn’t know that B&W would create such a different feeling to the pics. I’m glad that I did this challenge [my way] but think I’ll go back to shooting in color… if you don’t mind.

      Like

  13. I didn’t do it, when invited to on FB because I tend to want people in my photos, or they are scenic where color is important. It did make me understand what I value most in pictures; that was a good thing, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, I rarely take a pic of a person. Usually when I photograph anything I do it for the colors or as a way of explaining something. This B&W challenge made me try something new, and I learned something good from it.

      Like

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