Black and White Conversions



Matt and Lisa (Miki) bravely brought their girls up the trail a full mile to get to the first crossing of Cottonwood Creek in late May.  The water was rushing, but the trail just before the bridge was a fantastic spot for a little family fun.


This fun family serves as the leadership for the CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) organization on the Montana State University campus here in Bozeman, and I met them through church.   Not only do they provide great connection with young people learning about Christ, but Matt is a talented musician who generously shares his gifts with our congregation.


And then there are their beautiful daughters!  Oh my!  They are cuteness defined!  And so happy and easy to take on a little photography adventure.


It was my pleasure to spend an hour or so of time getting to know them better, watching them play together and capturing it to share with the world.  Truly it was a blessed morning!






Categories: Black and White Conversions, Cottonwood Canyon, Family Fun, Family photographer, Hiking, kids, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Spring | Leave a comment



We were camping last week near a rushing creek – no fishing in that murky white water.  Up early in the morning  to take some photos and the wild flowers were beautiful.  Just the shapes are so fun to examine – and the black and white allows you to do just that.  Enjoy.







Categories: Black and White Conversions, flowers, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Spring | 2 Comments


IMG_3647smI don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but I’m going to share some links at the bottom of this post that I’ve come across in the past few weeks (since the beginning of the new year).  This is part of my OLW of initiate.  I’m taking initiative to share.

As I wrote in my original post about selecting this word, I often have ideas to share with folks but get shy about approaching them for fear I’ll be interrupting or bothering them by bringing my idea to them. 

IMG_1009bwsmI’ve made some progress in this area in the last couple of weeks, which includes doing things like feeling called to pray with someone and actually approaching them about it and praying with them.  Or getting a brainstorm of an idea (meaning I thought of it, but I’m not wedded to it, just feel like it might be worthy of exploring and helpful in the process of sorting something out), and speaking it out loud to those who might consider it.

Funny thing this Initiate word.  A woman whose wisdom I value greatly and who knows my family and I well offered me a suggestion last week.  She advised me to take off my filter on ideas and opinions and speak my mind more.  I’d been holding back as I try to figure out how others will respond to my ideas, and she indicated it is time to let others be responsible for their own reaction to my ideas.  My ideas are mine, their reaction is theirs.  I’m not responsible for their reactions. 

I know, what a concept, huh!



It is profound how well this approach fits right in with the idea of initiate.  Her assignment to me of not filtering puts this whole word into a more powerful context for me than I ever dreamed.

So, back to the links thing.  I’m sharing because I think these are neat posts.  Maybe your reaction will be different from mine.  I’m not going to worry about it.  IMG_1001sm

Although, really, these are pretty safe because I don’t think any of them are terribly controversial.  None are religious or political – they are all style/photography/creative related.  So any disagreement about them being cool links would only be about taste I suppose.

Enough stalling, here are the links, with a little comment from me about what I loved.

Russian Mother’s Beautiful Photos

I just love this whole thing.  I am amazed at this woman’s photography – and a bit envious at her skill and abilities, especially after such a short time of being focused on photography.

Succulents as wedding flowers

I like all these photos, but what I really got excited about was the unusual use of succulents in the wedding flowers/decor.  Super cool!

Totally Cool Wedding in Vermont

This link is to a photographer my mentor suggested I follow because he does inspiring work and has a real fun attitude about it.  I’m not always sure I like everything he does or the way he presents himself – pushes my boundaries in some ways.  But I loved this wedding location and some of the ideas in it – plus the photography is pretty cool too.

So that is the update from me on initiating.  And, by the way, these are all old photos posted last year because Andy has the computer where my photos are at court in a jury trial – not sure the judge would appreciate me running in there to blog while the trial is going on, so it is make due time.  This was not an appropriate place to initiate and not worry about the judge’s reaction.  I am smart enough to know that.

Categories: Black and White Conversions, cows, Daily life, initiate, One Little Word, Photography | Leave a comment


IMG_1464_8099smMore from my walk the other day.  It’s like a Dr. Seuss story:

Our trees have no leaves . . .

And I can’t think of even one more rhyme except:

Our leaves have no trees.

Lame I know, so just look at the photos.



















Categories: Autumn, Black and White Conversions, Fall, Outdoors, Photography | 3 Comments


It isn’t kittens – but I’ll be back with more of them, don’t worry.

Got this photo when out with some young ladies doing a just for fun photo shoot, and I just really like it.  Hope you don’t mind my sharing.IMG_8374bwsm

Categories: Autumn, Black and White Conversions, Fall, Fashion, kids, Outdoors, Photography | 2 Comments



I love bread!  And it loves my hips and thighs and belly and all my other fat tissue areas!  It likes to come live there and stay.

I particularly liked t his bread which my friend Daniel made for an event last month – yummy!

I also liked  his presentation of the bread on a nice clean wooden shingle for a platter.

What I didn’t like was the amount of wood in the photo above – the platter is fine, but the fact that the platters were being prepared on a butcher block counter just meant there was way too much wood for my tastes.

But I was just the photographer, who certainly couldn’t interrupt a busy kitchen preparing to serve dinner to say:  “Um, could you move the bread platters to another location with good light but a cleaner (i.e. white) surface so my photo will be more appealing to my eye.”  Yeah, that message would have gotten me kicked out of the kitchen and probably not invited back in.

But I love bread, and wanted this photo to work.  So, I thought maybe, perhaps, it was worth a try to see if a black and white conversion helped to get rid of the too much wood problem.


I think it helped, but I still wish for a better background.

Just so you know, I did think about cloning in a white counter everywhere the butcher block shows, but it was a fleeting thought because I just don’t think I would want to do that much work – I like the bread, but I’m also lazy.

For those of you who don’t know, this whole exercise is to force me to get better at my black and white conversions.  So, my feedback to myself on this particular conversion (aside from butcher block background thing) is that I could have made this one a bit brighter/more contrast, I think.  Thought I had done enough of that, but seeing it one the blog post I think more would have been a bit better.

Categories: Black and White Conversions, Photography | 2 Comments


Jansse's river photos_0373editbwSM

Yes, I still blog.  Just not as often as I’d like in the past two weeks.  Haven’t been able to check out very many other blogs either – it has been a busy time (not complaining, just saying!)

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Yes, I still take photos.  But today the seven photos I’m sharing were taken by J and used in his school art show display two nights ago.  Jansse's river photos_0352editSM

They were a big hit, garnering complements from total strangers who sought him out after asking the art teacher who he was. One man even chewed out the teacher that J didn’t get an award for the best display of the show – that may have been a bit far, but it was a project that J was proud to display.Jansse's river photos_0056editSM

The confidence boost that came from this experience was beyond my wildest imagination – he even asked if we thought his grades would go up in general because he was feeling so good about himself (no filter on the question asking for that boy!).Jansse's river photos_0148bwSM

It has been a busy time with triathlon, dinner events, choir concerts, art shows, lots and lots of work, and finally some spring weather.Jansse's river photos_0222bwSM

I hope to have photos to share of some of our recent activities – maybe in the next couple of days!

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Remember, all these photos were taken by a seventh grader – now, got out with your camera and teach your kids – it is so fun!

Categories: Art, Black and White Conversions, Daily life, Family Fun, J, Photography, River, Spring, Winter | 6 Comments


My deepest sympathy for all those in Boston and beyond who are deeply impacted by the events yesterday.  It is a horrible development, and I’m still processing as I’m sure many others are as well. 

My prayers go out for all involved, including our whole country as we adjust to a new vulnerability.  And especially to those who were so excited and sincere in using this event to honor the victims of Sandy Hook – I can’t even imagine the emotional battering this has produced.

I don’t know what to do but to continue on, praying, mourning, but doing all my normal things so that whoever did this horrible act will not have even more power over me and others by changing us and our use of our freedoms.


Second, an update of the Tankster.  He’s doing amazingly well.  Here at the office with me, pacing around the little space and exploring every corner. 

Scratch that.  As I was typing he started barking at a poor woman coming in the building to visit another business.  Can’t have that, so he’s now resting comfortably on his bed in the back of the Subaru. 

He’s certainly getting his energy back quickly!  His shaved spots on the insides of his legs and abdomen where they cleaned the road rash are the only visible signs of his ordeal.

The photo above shows him yesterday afternoon at home under considerable sedation.  Amazing how fast things can change.

So, onward . . .

When I first saw some of my photos I thought they might make an interesting black and white because of the shape and shadow, but the one I had picked out for that was this photo:


I thought maybe, just maybe it had enough curve to be like some of the classic art photos of shells that are converted to black and white.  You see, when I dream of what I want to accomplish with my photos I dream big. I might miss the mark in implementation, but I dream big, figuring as I get closer and closer to the mark I’ll value what I’m doing more and more. 

So, this was my first “attempt” at anything along the lines of black and white curves in nature, and it was such a flop that I’m not even going to show the conversion.  Just trust me, D.I.S.A.P.P.O.I.N.T.M.E.N.T.   I realized it is far to short on shadow to be as interesting as I was hoping.

I moved on.

I‘ve got blossoms (I think plum trees) from my trip to California at the beginning of the month.


And while it isn’t a spectacular art piece, I was pretty happy with my experimentation in heavier contrast in this conversion.


And I really like how the bokeh comes out in the conversion.  Yes, it is there in color, but in the black and white my eye catches it even more – or at least in a more enjoyable way.  That may be because of the bump in contrast I threw in, not really sure.

Anyway, it’s not classic sea shell photos, but it brings me a bit of joy, so I’ll not complain.

Categories: Black and White Conversions, Daily life, flowers, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Tank, Travel | 3 Comments


Happy Birthday to my mom – if she had lived she would be 69 today.  Not very old really.  I miss her, but this is a great day to just enjoy the memories.


A couple of weekends ago we went to Helena for Saturday – Andy to visit a client in the jail, J and I to walk around the old downtown area and take some photos.  This picture is from that. 

Then I applied the whole HDR thing I mentioned last week and experimented with turning it to black and white after that.


It is fun to experiment.

Categories: Black and White Conversions, Outdoors, Photography, Travel | 5 Comments




Categories: Black and White Conversions, cows, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, Winter, Wordless Wednesday | 5 Comments

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