#1220. #MonochromeAugust (Pixii challenge)

By pascaljappy | News

Aug 05

It is now midsummer, in the Northern Hemisphere. At no time in the rest of the year is the light so hard. For nice colour photographs, you often need to be up early or very late. So, how about a month of monochrome? This is the gist of the open participation challenge Pixii is proposing.

Jersey mono 1 – #MonochromeAugust

As always with Pixii news, I’ll keep this purely informative πŸ™‚

The French photo startup who recently unveiled a RAW monochrome mode is launching a fun campaign to promote b&w, and in which anyone can take part, whether they shoot with a Pixii, film, another camera, a phone, a pinhole …

Jersey mono 2 – #MonochromeAugust

The reasoning is simple. Colour photographs are lovely … when the colour is interesting. But that’s not always the case. And, since colour has somewhat become a default setting for most photographers, the very different feeling and technique used in monochrome photography has been lost for some.

So why not scrub the rust away by practising, at the time of year when (in the Northern Hemisphere) light is less conducive to good colour photographs, unless you rise before crickets or are still out when hobbits are considering second supper πŸ˜‰ ? Of course, residents of the Souther Hemisphere are welcome too πŸ˜‰

Jersey Mono 3 – #MonochromeAugust

The rules are simple. In fact, there are just two: (1) shoot in b&w.

I would recommend focusing on subjects that would give you a hard time in colour. Either because the light is too difficult, or because the colour in the scene is uninspiring, or the photograph is more about shape and light than anything else.

Jersey mono 4 – #MonochromeAugust

Use any camera you want. Shoot b&w in-camera, or convert in PP. Use profiles or presets or DIY processing. Anything goes so long as you create b&w images.

(rule 2) If you post anything online, on your website, on Flickr, on Instagram, on someone else’s website, …, please tag the photographs with #MonochromeAugust, so that it becomes a shared experience πŸ™‚

Jersey mono 5 – #MonochromeAugust

If you are not used to monochrome, you’ll uncover a new dimension of your hobby. One in which light plays a much larger role in the final composition and mood. The scene above is totally uninsteresting in colour and in flat light, for instance.

You’ll also gain a deeper appreciation of what you look for in a colour photograph, when you’ve finished this exercise. Make it as long or short as you want. It’s nowhere near as challenging as an ocoloy round-the-sun torture session, but I feel it brings more benefits.

Jersey mono 6 – #MonochromeAugust
Jersey mono 7 – #MonochromeAugust

At the end of the month, Pixii will be curating the most interesting photographs made with a Pixii camera.

But I’d be happy to publish a set of nice ones made with any camera, here on DS, so let’s make this a DS challenge. Thanks to a recent comment, I realised I’d completely forgotten about the previous challenge (what else is new? πŸ˜† ) so I’ll publish that one first, but if you’re interested in sending in some b&w photos, just include #MonochromeAugust in the title of your email, send it at pascal dot jappy at gmail dot com, and attach 1 to 3 jpg photos (1500px long edge)

And the results will be published at the end of the month as well. I look froward to your monochromes πŸ™‚ Remember, through: Just tag it πŸ˜‰ #MonochromeAugust.


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  • Ian Varkevisser says:

    First batch posted

  • Michael Fleischer says:

    Good idea…The Monochrome world is so inspiring… I’m in & on it!
    Glad you also publish the Overtone Challenge. ☺️

  • Steve Mallett says:

    I’m in.

  • PaulB says:

    Count me in two. Errr . . . I mean too.

    Paul B

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    As I’ve mentioned before, Pascal, colour is where I’m at. I spent practically all my photography from 1952 when I started, till the 1990’s, in B&W – and it was only when in the 2000’s I migrated to digi that I could start doing any colour printing of my own.

    Late starters are doing the opposite – cellphone or DSLR or mirror-less or whatever – colour for a while. Then exploring film – and B&W.

    So the generations are now travelling in opposite directions.

    Pixii offers the choice – turn left or turn right!

    I must admit I loved the tonal range produced by the M9. On my budget, the idea of a B&W only camera – AND the associated gear! – is out of the question, though. So I shoot with my D500, D850 and other gear, and occasionally convert a shot to B&W when colour simply isn’t working.

    Your Hassy does better than I can with my gear – so I have to stand back and admire yours.

    Which to shoot with? You put the question. Here’s a different answer. Growing up with colour, a lot of ‘togs have no real understanding of “tonal range”. If you shoot B&W, your photos stand or fall, on your knowledge of tonal range. Too often, I see photos that depend on the colour wheel for “tonal range” – but there isn’t any – if you converted them to B&W they’d pretty much all be the same shade of grey. Flat – lack lustre – boring.

    IMHO – always assuming there IS an “H” in that! – the people responsible for such “photos” should be made to take nothing but B&W till they learn the value of tonal range. Then to cine school, and taught that “less is more” – comply with 12/3/1 – introduce colour from the OPPOSITE end, one “splash” at a time, until they get the hang of it.

    BTW – as an aside, the culprits also tend to clutter their images. Here again, less is more. If you REALLY want auntie Maude and her 13 children in the frame, just take more photos with less individuals in each – they’ll be much nicer photos (or portraits!), even though all living relatives aren’t in the same shot. And maybe less lamp posts or telegraph poles growing out of people’s heads, too!

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