Our Favorite Reader Photos from the "Power of Black & White" Assignment


The Godafoss waterfall in Iceland has a name that translates as “waterfall of the gods.” In this dramatic photo by Patryk Pulawski it certainly lives up to its billing!
© Patryk Pulawski

Despite all the advancements in digital imaging, classic black-and-white photography never goes out of style. Shutterbug readers proved that this month with a stunning array of monochrome images submitted for this assignment. Our 10 favorite photos weren’t simply black and white just for black and white’s sake, they all used the dramatic impact of monochrome in a powerful way.

Nathan W. Dean captured this image in China with a Nikon D700 and a Nikkor 28-300mm lens at 300mm. “She was walking toward me on a backstreet in the Old Town in Lijiang, China. Her face showed such angst but I have no idea why,” Dean says. The image was edited and processed in Lightroom and Perfect Effects.
© Nathan W. Dean

Open Road
“I took this photo as I was traveling around the state of Arizona,” Guy Nehrenz says. “The storm and the lighting were perfect to create a black-and-white image with.”
© Guy Nehrenz

B+W Brahman
Rebecca Steele shot this poignant portrait of a female Brahman early in the morning with a Canon EOS 60D and an EF-S 55-250mm IS lens at 229mm, f/10, 1/250 second in Spot metering mode.
© Rebecca Steele

Deep Space…
“This photo of my son was taken while visiting the galleries at Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts,” Rob DePaolo says. “I just loved the contrast between the white walls and the dark space looming behind him. This was also my first outing with my new Fujifilm X-T1, and I was quite pleased with the quality of the images.” DePaolo paired the X-T1 with an XF18-135mm lens set at 49.4mm, f/5.6, 1/25 second, ISO 800.
© Rob DePaolo

The Storm
Gerry Groeber captured this early summer storm in Arizona at 24mm, f/10, 1/1000 second, ISO 50. “Rain, lightning, mud, mosquitoes, and a wet field of corn, the things we go through to get the shot,” he says about this image.
© Gerry Groeber

Sand Dunes
Richard Junge shot this image of the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado in the late afternoon with his Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 24-105mm lens at f/11, 1/125 second, ISO 100.
© Richard Junge

Hidden Falls - Grand Teton National Park
“A beautiful waterfall in the Grand Teton National Park,” Jim Rome says about this shot. “I captured this moment after an hour-long hike during the popular summer months. The overcast sky produced a bland color photo, but perfect for black-and-white conversion with Silver Efex Pro.” He used a Canon EOS 60D and an EF-S 18-135mm lens at 10mm, f/11, 1/90 second, ISO 200.
© Jim Rome

Fly Boys
Clark Z. Conway captured this artful shot of aerial acrobatics with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens at 180mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 second, ISO 100.
© Clark Z. Conway

Winning Hands
“Near the town square in Guane, Colombia, these old men gathered for a friendly game of dominoes. Standing above them, I was privy to their hands and watched them play out their strategies,” Rick Bergstrom says. “I cropped tight to just show the hands, the dominoes, and the gritty table surface.” The image was shot with a Sony NEX-6 and a Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 lens at f/9, 1/80 second, ISO 400. It was converted to black and white using Nik Color Efex Pro.
© Rick Bergstrom

Picture This! – Our Next Assignment
Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Photojournalism and documentary photography might sound like a tough assignment but think of it simply as capturing candid moments of real life. There are stories all around us just waiting to be told with our cameras. For this assignment, use yours to capture a scene or a situation that tells a story without manipulation. We want unstaged images that document real life in a revealing way. Or to bend the old cliché, we’re looking for pictures that are worth a thousand words.

Fender Bender
To show that there’s breaking news all around us, consider this photo I shot just a few feet from the doorstep of my apartment. I was returning home after a day of testing the Leica M9 for a review in 2009 when I stumbled across this car accident. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured but the driver was taken to a local hospital and several of my neighbors were shaken up by the incident. Thanks to the stealthiness of the discreet M9 rangefinder camera I was able to snap a bunch of photos of the accident scene without anyone noticing.
© Dan Havlik

How To Submit Online
1. Go to www.shutterbug.com and register. Scroll down the page and on the right side you will see a box for entering your username and your password. If you have already registered and/or submitted images for the Galleries you can skip this step. Respond to the activation e-mail. Registration is free. You will use your username and password whenever you visit or, with some systems, it will automatically load for you when you visit www.shutterbug.com.

2. Check the assignment and closing dates in the magazine. When the magazine is printed we will create an appropriate gallery for your images. The limit is two images per assignment.

3. Select and prepare your images. We only accept files at a maximum 5MB size, JPEG format. Save the JPEG at a quality level of 10 or higher. Note that file size in your image folder directory will determine upload size, not the “opened” file size, as JPEG compresses at 1:4 at higher quality ratings. If your images do not load it probably means you have exceeded the file size or have not used JPEG format.

4. Click on the Galleries tab on the homepage. In the Category section use the drop-down menu to select the Picture This! assignment. Note that images are simultaneously loaded into the assignment category as well as your own personal gallery. When the Picture This! assignment deadline date has lapsed the assignment gallery will be removed, but your images will still reside in your own gallery.

5. In the Description box add title, camera, lens, exposure information, and your full name. Also add any other comments or anecdotes you think relevant. We reserve the right to edit comments as needed.

6. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page. This uploads the image.

7. You retain copyright on the image.

8. We will choose the images after close of the due date.

9. Please feel free to comment on images submitted by other readers.

Please Note: If the photograph includes a minor or a recognizable individual or group you are guaranteeing that you have a signed model release form, and especially a parental or guardian release form for minors. You should keep a copy of that release in your files. Scan that release and keep it handy. If an image is chosen for publication, failure to provide a form when requested will eliminate the image from consideration. You can find release forms at http://asmp.org/tutorials/model-release-minor-child.html and other resources on the Internet. By uploading images you attest that the model release form is valid, that any depiction of a person is with their consent, that you have a model release form available on request, and that all images you submit have been made by you.

Deadline For Submission: November 1, 2015.
Images will appear in our February 2016 issue.

Our next topic: Wedding, Portrait, and Boudoir Photography
Deadline: December 1, 2015.
Publication Date: March 2016.

Please Note: By submitting you agree to give us the right to show the image(s) on the web and for publication. You give us publication rights in the magazine and on the website(s) of TEN: The Enthusiast Network, LLC.

Want to see images selected for past picture this! Assignments? Go to www.shutterbug.com and click on picture this! In the “more articles…” box on the homepage.

If you have any questions or problems e-mail us at editorial@shutterbug.com with Picture This! in the subject line.