Photo Assignment #5 – Monochrome

It’s been a busy week. I’ve been away doing training again. So there’ve been no posts this week although there are ideas rolling around. They’ll come later. But first, photography. Don’t want to fall behind.

I’ve made one decision in the photos I’m taking. Unlike many of the submissions to the Digital Photography website, I have decided not to stage anything. No carefully draped backdrops. No artfully arranged subjects. It must be real. And it’s up to me to see it.

This week’s assignment was monochrome. But no black and white. The Digital Photography School suggested we attach moods to the colours we choose. Red for sin, lust, anger or love. Orange for warmth and positivity. Blue for cold (obvious, yes?) or crispness. Green for either eco-friendly or sickly in some way. Purple for nobility.

I must admit, it’s been fun playing with monochrome. And it’s resulted in more photos than I expect you’ll scroll through. But even if you don’t want to look at them all, scroll all the way to the end for the last picture. It’s my favourite. Here we go:

Winter Basket

This was taken on my front porch. I liked the way the light bounced off the empty hanging basket and the way I could use monochrome to blank out most of the brick wall behind it. Here’s another version of the same original photo:


Again, it’s about angles and light. I like the way the curve of the porch is paralleled by my neighbour’s rooftop. A bit artsy perhaps rather than statement-making or story-telling. But that’s what can happen when you start playing around with monochrome.

Kakabeka Falls

This is one of my favourites. I took this at Kakabeka Falls in Northern Ontario. I enjoyed the photo au naturel but I really like it in blue!

210 Oak Park

This is the entrance to a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the Oak Park neighbourhood of Chicago. The combination of curves and angles seems enhanced with monochrome. The blue gives it a coolness that, along with the leaves scattered on the ground, makes it seem old and abandoned.

I’m now out of my blue period. Just thought I’d group according to colour. Moving on…

Purple Mountain Purple Sky

It’s not blue! It’s purple, albeit a blue-ish purple. This is a view from the dock of the cottage Sweetie and I rent every summer. I liked the contrast between the trees and sky. It reminds me of a water-colour I have on my office wall.

Purple Mystery!

This amused me. Not even Sweetie could figure out what it is. Guess!

Ready for Bed

When I chose the paint colour for our bedroom, I wanted something tranquil and soothing. I used that colour as the basis for this photo. Very pleased with the softness and gentle feel it created.

Old Greed

This is a shot of the old Chicago Stock Exchange, reconstructed inside Chicago’s Art Institute. I chose a blend of green and with some yellow tint. Green to represent the dollar and the sickness of greed, yellow to try to bring some warmth to represent the beauty of the place. I added a film grain texture to add age as well. Too obvious? This is the only green photo in the bunch. Green can break your heart.

Glass Behind Glass

Another attempt at something artistic. These are the wineglasses in my dining room hutch, shot through the glass with the light reflecting through the window. I did no colour manipulation at all in this photo. It’s monochrome all by itself.

Frank's Pews

You may have gathered by now that my family has something of an obsession with Frank Lloyd Wright. We’ve seen most of his work throughout the United States. These are the pews in the Unity Temple, a church he was commissioned to design. The photo was taken from a lower level surrounding the main part of the church. Orange seemed appropriate for a house of worship, a place I expect would carry a lot of strong feeling. I decided to try to balance the sharp geometry of the place with a softness and glow. Just because.

A Golden Day

This the centrepiece my honourary daughter, Kyung-Soon, made for my wedding day. It was golden in so many ways, filled with great joy. (My wedding dress was deep blue velvet. Everything was highlighted with gold accents. No white princess gown for this, shall we say, mature bride.) I hadn’t noticed how the pearls on the glass seem to float in the air until I took the photo. Every time I look at this, I smile.

Classroom Vibe

This is a photo I took at the end of a day teaching at the Labour College of Canada. I chose an orangey-red to reflect the passionate views of the students and their commitment to the labour movement. The room bristled with energy when it was occupied. I could still feel it after everyone had departed for the day, busy studying and writing assignments. These students are already working to change the world.

Day's End

This started life as a photo of a bookshelf filled with books and knick knacks in my home office. As I looked at it more closely, I noticed the title of the book tucked in the corner. I cropped it, blurred it and gave it a deep red tone to signal the dying day while keeping the focus on Evening News… a constant source of all things red. I haven’t read this book yet. And now I will.

Lead from the Heart

I’m thinking of making this my profile pic. It’s a post-it from an exercise during the advanced leadership course I taught, and am teaching again, at the Labour College. The colour choice is obvious, I suppose, but I couldn’t see making it anything else.

And here, at last, is the final photo for this assignment:

My Sister, My Hero

My sister, my hero. And the colour? Blue because it’s my favourite. Blue because she’s calm, cool, collected and wise. Especially when I need her to be. Blue because right now, she is a little blue. It will get better.

And next week? Patterns in nature. More fund beckons with looking, really looking, for the stuff that’s right in front of me.


About saxbergonstuff

I'm a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a daughter, an auntie. When I'm not focusing on that, I'm an educator, facilitator and content designer. When I feel like it.
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4 Responses to Photo Assignment #5 – Monochrome

  1. Baby Sister says:

    Im with Mum…I like Kakabeka…but I’m very moved by your description of your Baby Sister… Blue’s my favourite colour too. oxoxxo

  2. Audrey Saxberg says:

    I like Kakabeka and the Stock Exchange.
    And of course the Baby Sister

  3. Kai Lai says:

    Every pic = Ab Fab. Me joining Digital Photography School too!

  4. Dan (aka Sweetie) says:

    i like them all but if I have to pick a favourite it would be “ready for bed.”

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