Writing with Light

Posts tagged “Black & white

A Stroll Through Rothschild Blvd.

I hope that my American friends are enjoying the Memorial Day long weekend. I won’t take much of your time today, just wanted to share this image from a stroll down Rothschild Blvd in Tel Aviv, this past March.

I’m heading back to Israel in a couple of months and I’m looking forward to photographing this same spot but this time with the trees full of leaves.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print

Tel Aviv, Israel, Rothschild Blvd, walking, path, trees, bike lane, black & white, monochrome


2015 My Year in Review

Every year Jim Goldstein runs a project on his blog, JMG Galleries, where he encourages photographers to post their best pictures of the year. It’s a great project and I’ve participated every year. When I started participating about 4 years ago I thought, “what a great way to have pictures seen by a whole new audience.”

That was me when I first started blogging but now there are so many other reasons that I participate. Yes I still like that fact that I may reach a new audience but more than that I find this to be a difficult and yet rewarding exercise. It’s tough to cull through your work and pick what you think may be the best of the year. It really gives me a chance to go though my images (some that I haven’t looked at for almost a year) and decide whether they’re good enough to make the cut of the top 10 or 15.  I try to review my images from a technical perspective and from a creative one. Certainly I’m drawn to certain images due to the circumstances of where and when they were taken. The picks may not always be perfect and certainly wouldn’t win any awards but art is subjective and what one person views as a masterpiece another make look at and dismiss entirely.

It’s been a busy and rewarding year both on the photographic front and from a family and work stand point. I’ve taken on a new role at work which was unexpected at the beginning of 2015 but I am loving it. The only downside has been that its been so busy that my photography had to take a bit of a back seat.

From a photography perspective I’ve continued to sell prints and license new work which is always very exciting and rewarding. I won’t make any specific commitments for the new year because I know that my day job will still be taking up a lot of my time but learning new photographic techniques and honing my craft is something that I know will always be important and I will find and make the time to do it.

If you have a chance jump on over to Jim Goldstein’s site here in or about the second week of January and he should have a list of year in review post listed for your viewing pleasure. There’s always a great list of photographers on there, you won’t regret it.

As always you can click on the images to enlarge them or to Purchase a Print.

Cuba, Havana, Old Havana, street photography, travel photography, black and white

Cuba

water drops, gerber flower, refraction, milkweed, macro photography

Refracted Water Drops

Havana, Cuba, Cuban Cigars, Cigar, Stogie, travel photography, cigar aficiondo, black and white

Cuba

Hilton Falls, Ontario, Milton, conservation, waterfall, long exposure, trees

Hilton Falls, Ontario

Boston, skyline, Fan Pier, sunset, blue hour, travel photography, harbour, lights, Charles River

Boston

Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, Ontario, Muskoka Chairs, dock, sunset, nature

Muskoka

Lake Ontario, Toronto, Beaches, sail, sailboats, water

Lake Ontario

Old Montreal, Quebec, night photography, long exposure, historic

Old Montreal

Jerusalem, Israel, street photography, black and white, monochrome, man, beard

Jerusalem, Israel

Israel, Jerusalem, Western Wall, Orthodox, Man, Walking, Motion, black and white, travel photography,

Jerusalem, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel, sunset, beach, family, photographer, golden, water, sea, Mediterranean

Tel Aviv, Israel

 


The Guitar Player

We were walking through the Cardo (Jerusalem’s main street 1500 years ago) and this young Orthodox man was sitting there playing guitar. He wasn’t asking for money, he was just playing a selection go Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkal.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Israel, Jerusalem, The Cardo, musician, guitar, orthodox, guitar player, street photography, black & white


The Sugar Bush Shop

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a one day seminar on Creative Landscape Photography with renowned Canadian photographers, Darwin Wiggett and Samantha Chrysanthou. The full day seminar covered topics such as the Language of Light, Harnessing the Power of Tones and Working Advanced Compositional Patterns in Landscape. It was a full day of learning followed on Sunday morning by a 1/2 day workshop in the field.

Darwin & Samantha (you can find them at www.oopoomoo.com) put us through our paces on Sunday and had different “assignments” for the attendees but the first thing they made us all do was to change the picture style of our cameras to Monochrome….Yikes. Honestly I’ve never, ever set my camera up that way. The challenge was to look for compositional elements, patterns and most importantly tones and not to be distracted by colour. This was a fun and challenging way to shoot. Here’s an image of the Sugar Bush Shop (I call it the Sugar Shack. My husband and I took our boys their when they were young during sugaring off season.)

Toronto, Kortright Center, conservation center, nature, black and white photography


Taxi

Wide shots of urban scenes are great and really gives the viewer a sense of place but don’t knock a close-up.

Click on the image to see a resolution version or to Purchase a Print.

Varadero, Cuba, Taxi, Black & White, travel photography, car,


Shadows & Light

The sun was setting as we were walking around Havana casting shadows along buildings and streets. Standing here, for a moment I thought back to a similar building in New Orleans.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Havana, Cuba, Monochrome, Black & White, pillars, shadow, light, leading lines

 


A Typical Day in Havana

Before we head into the weekend (with some milder temperatures coming our way) I thought I’d leave you with an image from Havana.

To convert to black & white I used Topaz Black & White Effects. I wanted to let you all now that Topaz Labs is having a sale until the end of March, you can pick B&W Effects for $39.99 (regular price is $59.00). Click here to purchase or down loan a trial version.

Cuba, Havana, Black & White, Monochrome, city, street, architecture


Standing the Test of Time

Cypress trees line the hills of Tuscany. I don’t know how long these have been standing in this spot but I do know that I could photograph the Tuscan countryside ad infinitum.

Click on the image to see a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Tuscany, Italy, Blackand White, monochrome, landscape, travel photography, hillside, cypress trees, minimalist


Searching for Petra

Petra is a historical city which was established as far back as 312 BCE by the Nabataeans. It’s situated on the slopes of Jebel al-Madhbah which some have identified as the biblical Mount Hor.

Petra is a place that has long been on my bucket list of places to visit and photograph and when I visited Israel in May the opportunity to visit Petra presented itself. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to plan an extended visit which would have allowed me to photograph in the early morning and night but I was able to do a day trip. The day of my visit I flew from Tel Aviv to Eilat at 6:30am. I was met at the Eilat airport by a representative of Desert Eco Tours, which if you ever find yourself in the region is an excellent company. This was the second time I’ve used them and they did not disappoint. We drove 10 minutes to the Israeli / Jordanian border and from there met up with Mohammed, our tour guide, who would take us to this ancient city. It’s a two hour drive from the border to Petra and before entering the ancient city we stopped to view the surrounding mountains.

As I was staring out at the view I asked Mohammed where Petra was. His response was that you can’t see Petra because it was strategically built so that it stayed hidden and protected it from invaders. Mohammed then point far off into the distance and drew my attention to a tiny white dot at the top of the mountain….Aaron’s Tomb.  Aaron (or Harun as he is known in Arabic) was Moses’ brother and the Old Testament states that Aaron died and was buried atop Mount Hor. While some believe Mount Hor is located in the Sinai desert. The Jewish historian Josephus Flavius in the 1st century AD, places the final resting place of Aaron on this mountaintop.  That little tiny white dot is actually a small mosque built atop Aaron’s tomb in the 14th Century and it acts as a mercer to the entrance of Petra. Aaron’s final resting place is a Holy site for the Islamic, Jewish and Christian faiths and many make the one day pilgrimage to visit Aaron’s tomb. It’s a 3 1/2 hour hike up the mountain and down so unfortunately I din’t have time to do it…this time.

Click on the image to enlarge and you’ll get a glimpse at Aaron’s Tomb.

Petra, Jordan, Aaron's Tomb, Jebel Haroun, Mount Hor, mountains, black & white


City On The Edge

This is another image taken from Brooklyn Heights but a slightly different composition than the one in my previous post. This image was shot at sunrise but I decided to create a more dramatic image by giving it a B&W treatment in Perfect B&W by OnOne.

Click on the image to see an enlarged Hi-Res version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Brooklyn Heights, Manhattan, city view, cityscape, Hudson River, long exposure, golden hour, sunrise, travel photography, Black & White, monochrome


2013 – A Year in Review

I can’t believe another year is coming to a close but then again I say that every year. It seems they go by so quickly these days. As I look back on 2013 I’m proud of some of the images that I produced and some of the projects that I’m working on. As I announced a couple of months ago I’m launching a new pet photography business, PhoDOGraphy by Edith Levy. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for sometime and I’ll have the website ready for launch in January.

Below are some of my favourite images from this year. They don’t necessarily reflect the most popular images by hits or comments but ones that resonated with me for various reasons and I’ll let you know why as you go through them. Enjoy!

One last thing…wishing you all a Happy Holiday and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Jackson Square in B&W

Interestingly enough this image never appeared on the blog. The colour version did (and you can see it here) but for some reason I didn’t post the B&W version which happens to be my favourite of the two. This was shot before sunrise and I love the moodiness that comes out in the B&W.

New Orleans, NOLA, Jackson Square, benches, sunrise, dawn, travel photography, monochrome, Black White

Jackson Square

Cafe du Monde

To call Cafe du Monde a coffee shop is downgrading it a bit. It’s a landmark and institution in New Orleans which was established in 1862. Cafe du Monde is open 24/7 and it was the perfect place for me to duck in and warm up with a piping cup of coffee and beignet right after my sunrise shoots in the city.

New Orleans, Cafe Du Monde, cafe, coffee, French Quarter

Cafe Du Monde – New Orleans

The Elgin Theatre

I was fortunate to be able to shoot this iconic theatre in Toronto at the beginning of the year. This was one of my favourite images from that shoot. Little did I know that it would be selected to appear on the cover of the theatre’s souvenir brochure. Below is a scan (sorry about the poor quality) of the cover.

Elgin Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Balcony, ornate, interior

The Elgin Theatre, Toronto

Elgin Theatre, WinterGarden Theatre, 100th Anniversary, Brochure Cover, Edith Levy Photography,

Boston Strong

I attended a conference in Boston in April. At the time I wasn’t quite sure if it would be taking place as it was taking place a few days after the Boston Marathon bombing. The conference went on as scheduled and although security was tight at the airports and in the city I was amazed at the resilience of the city and its people.

Boston, Memorial, Bolyston street, Marathon, remembering, Boston Strong

Golden

This past July I took a trip to California, starting in San Francisco and driving down the coast to L.A. While the weather wasn’t always in my favour (lots of fog) I di manage to come away with some images that I was really pleased with. My second day in San Francisco called for an early morning wake up call to shoot the Golden Gate bridge. Being in a place for the first time without a lot of time to explore and get to know you’re way around means that you waste a lot of time looking for the perfect vantage point to shoot from. I was lucky here because as soon as I shoot this the lights on the bridge were turned off.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, Sunrise, Blue Hour, bridge, landscape, Edith Levy Photography

Golden

La Bicyclette

Come on…you had to know I’d include a bicycle image in my year-end recap 🙂 I loved that the name of this restaurant in Carmel-By-The-Sea was called La Bicyclette.

Carmel, California, night, bicycle, La Bicyclette, restaurant, window, French, flags, dining, travel photography

La Bicyclette

The Roman Pool at Hearst Castle

I was just really pleased with the way this came out. The light was very low and I didn’t have a tripod with me. I increased my ISO, braced myself against the railing and took the shot. Sometimes you just have to go for it.

Hearst Castle, Roman Pool, San Simeon, California, indoor pool, water, reflections, travel photography

The Roman Gods Stand Tall

Sponge

This is just a personal favourite. I took pictures of this little guy…his name is Sponge as part of my portfolio building sessions. Isn’t he just adorable.

French Bulldog, Frenchie, pet photography, best friend, dog photography

The Lonely Path

This image was taken at the Rockwood Autoyard in Ontario while I was attending a workshop with Denise Ippolito. It was drizzling the whole day with a light mist floating in the air which made for some terrific light.

Ontario, forest, path, autumn, fall, changing colours, trees, fine art, texture, fog

The Lonely Path

Santa Barbara Marina

Here’s another personal favourite from my California trip. I loved the different colours emanating from the boats and wanted to give this image a bit of an abstract, impressionist feel.

Santa Barbara, California, harbor, sailboats, abstract, pacific ocean, surreal, wharf

Santa Barbara Harbour Abstraction

Santa Monica Pier

One the last night of my California trip I was determined to get a shot of Santa Monica pier at night. Even though it was cold and I really wasn’t dressed properly I headed to the pier (with my husband in tow…he really does deserve an award) and set up for this long exposure.

Santa Monica, pier, amusement park, lights, ferris wheel, roller coaster, night photography, long exposure, travel photography, beach

Amusing Lights

Malibu Pier

This is probably the image I’m most proud of this year. A long exposure of Malibu Pier with a high key treatment.

Malibu Pier, California, long exposure, high key, beach, waves, malibu pier cafe, travel photography

Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas

I really had fun photographing these elephant seals at Piedras Blancas which is about 3 miles north of San Simeon on the Pacific Coast. I title this image “A Little Disagreement” but someone made a comment that it looks like the seal on the right might be laughing at a joke (wish I had thought of that), but the loud barking of these mammoth seals is still ringing in my ears 🙂

Elephant Seal, Rookery, San Simeon, Piedras Blancas, California, beach, nature, travel photography, ocean front, beach

A Little Disagreement

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday and a Very Happy New Year.


Need Weed…And A Little Something For You!

I think the image speaks for itself.  Taken in San Francisco at Pier 39.

San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, street photography, homeless, weed, sign, black & white, #whylieguy

And now for a little something for you guys and quite appropriate for this post. I found out today that PhotoWhoa is offering a free ebook on Street Photography. The Street Collective  is the result of many hours interviewing top photographers such as Bryan Formhals (of LPV Magazine) and World Press Award winner Laura Pannack about their process and how they achieve
their unique looks. I’ve just downloaded it myself and it looks quite good. You can download it here. When you get to the PhotoWhoa click on Freebies in the navigation bar and scroll to the bottom. Enjoy!


Broken

If you’ve been following my blog and have looked at my travel photography then you know how much I love photographing unique bicycles leaning up against distinctive looking buildings.  Well I came across this bicycle and while not normally what I would be attracted too it was too good to pass up.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Kensington market, Toronto, city, street, bicycle, street photography, black and white


Patience is a Virtue

Remember “Uggie” from my Life in the City post. Well here he is again but this time he brought a friend. They were both very patient while waiting for their human to come out.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

dog, Kensington Market, Toronto, street photography, black and white


Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall marketplace is located near the waterfront in Boston and is a popular destination for tourists. What I didn’t realize is that Faneuil Hall has been a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742 acting as a backdrop for many speeches made by Samuel Adams encouraging independence from Great Britain.

After processing the image in Photoshop I converted it to black and white using Topaz Black & White Effects and then used the selective adjustment brush to bring back some colour.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Boston, Faneuil Hall, Black & White, red, street photography


Smokey Hollow Falls

I just found out this morning that Craft & Vision release another free ebook. Yes you heard right…it’s absolutely FREE. I haven’t read it yet as I’ve just downloaded it myself. free_cover1  Grab your copy here and enjoy!

A couple of weekends ago I was out with my Photography Club for the day shooting waterfalls in the Hamilton, Ontario area. Unfortunately there was still a lot of snow and ice on the trail that prohibited us from climbing down to the river. Of all the shots I took that day this is the one that I was somewhat pleased with. I used my 10 stop ND filter in order to smooth out the falls and the way the water hits the rocks below.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

smokey hollow falls, Hamilton, Ontario, long exposure, black and white, snow, ice, water


Life on the Tracks

As a photographer your vision, the story you want to tell will hopefully translate to your viewer. How you compose the image and frame your subject will help to tell that story.  The streetcar image that I posted on Monday is a very good example. That image was bright and cheery and even a bit whimsical in the way that I choose process it (you can see it here).  The image that I took seconds later tells a very different story. By stepping back a little and zooming out this is the scene that I saw.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

New Orleans, streetcar, street photography, black and white, homeless, man

Topaz Detail

Topaz Labs today announced the release of Detail 3.1 which is a free upgrade for existing clients. I’m a big Topaz Detail fan and you can read the post that I wrote when Detail 3 was released here with some before and after pictures. If you haven’t tried this incredible plug in yet you can download a free trial version. With this latest release Topaz Labs is offering Detail 3.1 for only $29.99 until March 22. Use Coupon Code detail31. Click here to purchase or to download a free 30 day trial.


Cathedral View

This image was taken on the same morning as my Jackson Square post which you can see here. That’s St. Louis Cathedral on the left.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

Jackson Square, New Orleans, St. Louis Cathedral, deserted, cobblestones


Which Gerber? Another Close Up View

This is another image that I shot at my Close-Up Photography workshop last weekend. After processing the RAW file in colour I felt that this image would be a good candidate to make into a fine art B&W image. When I posted the first image I took at the workshop (which you can see here) I was asked by some of you which lens  I used and my settings.

Everything was shot with natural light and the use of reflectors.

This image was shot at f/2.8, 1/8s ISO 100

After I processed the RAW file in colour I felt that this image would make a good candidate for a fine art black and white conversion. So know I ask for your opinion, which do you prefer 1) Color 2) Antique B&W (created with OnOne Perfect Effects) or 3) B&W created with Topaz B&W Effects Don’t forget you can save 15% on all Topaz products by using the discount code “ELPhoto” at checkout.

Click on the images to enlarge (they really look better) or to Purchase a Print.

macro, flower, gerber

macro, flower, gerber, black and white, antique

Created with OnOne Perfect Effects

macro, flower, gerber, black and white

Created with Topaz B&W Effects


The Pier at Bar Harbor Inn

I hope everyone had a great weekend. You may have noticed that I was absent for the last week. I was on a much needed vacation and spent the last week in Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park and Portland. I was going to continue posting images while away but decided to concentrate on photography and R&R instead. I have over 1300 images that I have to go through and process but the trip was a success both on the photographic and R&R front.

I’ve mentioned before what a wonderful photographic community this is and I’d like to thank Rob Hanson, Len Saltiel, Anne McKinnell and Andrew Marston for great tips and suggestions on where to photograph, eat, stay and things to do when I was in Maine. Click on the links to enjoy their beautiful photography sites.

The town of Bar Harbor is located on Mount Desert Island in Hancock County, Maine. In the late 19th century Bar Harbor was THE summer resort for some of America’s most rich and famous including the Rockefellers, the Fords, the Vanderbilts, the Carnegies, the Astors and the Morgans. Today it’s a summer destination for tourists from all over the world and is adjacent to Acadia National Park. It’s quaint downtown area, with Main Street as its main artery is flanked by shops (trendy & kitschy alike) as well as soon enticing restaurants that will satisfy even the most discerning palate.

The image below was taken from the beach under the Bar Harbor Inn pier. I converted this to B&W using Topaz Black & White Effects. If you haven’t tried it yet you can download a free trial version on the Topaz Labs site. You can use the discount code “ELPHOTO” to save 15% on all Topaz produts.

The 4-masted schooner you can partially see in front of the pier is the Margaret Todd, which we sailed on one evening. More on that in another post.

Click to enlarge (it looks better) or to purchase a print.

Bar harbor, Bar Harbor Inn, Maine, pier, B&W, monochrome, seascape


iPhone Friday – A Bit of Black & White

Since I bombarded you with color in last week’s iPhone Friday post it seemed only natural that I would take the opposite route and provide some B&W fun this week.

Below are a selection of images from in and around Toronto. Have a great weekend everyone.

On campus - U of T

Brady (my baby!)

Spring Bloom

Nuts


The Lonely Gondola

This is another shot from my early morning Venice shoot. There was something about this one gondola set apart from the rest. I felt it was lonely out there all by itself.  I thought the loneliness  might be conveyed better in B&W.

I converted the image to B&W using Photoshop the used Topaz Lens Effects to isolate the gondola and blur the surrounding area.

Canon XTi, Sigma 18 - 200mm, f/7.1, 1/100, 20mm