Winter Scenes In B&W


Time to get 2021 started with my first post of the year. I’ve been out shooting when the conditions seem promising and my mood cooperates. Sometimes one shot will spark an idea for a self-assignment that gives me something to work on. And while out I’m always keeping my eyes open for subjects that fit any number of the new, or recurring themes on my list. Mini collections that I post here often add to past examples with the same subject, creating larger collections of what interests me most. This post includes rather random landscapes but the common threads are winter, snow, and black and white conversions. What I’ve learned over the years is that not all captures work as monochromes. I like to use DXO’s (f.k.a. Nik) Silver Efex Pro and experiment with favorite settings to discover an image’s potential. Exploring the color filters within Silver Efex or other conversion tools offers variations to compare results, and decide upon the best solution. I don’t venture far with filters because my style is to keep my photographs looking like photographs. Here are some images I feel worked well as monochromes … I hope you like them!

A road and rustic fence leads us toward Hayden Mountain of Colorado's San Juans. The road is closed up ahead in the winter.

‘Closed Ahead’ © Denise Bush

A beautifull constructed and snow covered corral creates interest in this wintry scene., cattle ranch

‘OK Corral’ © Denise Bush

A small tree growing along a ditch line invites a winter composition of black and white.

‘Little Tree In Pasture’ © Denise Bush

Lifting clouds create dramatic winter scenes in the mountains of Colorado.

‘Sneffels Peak Peeking In B&W’ © Denise Bush

Wind whips through a stand of evergreens, kicking up snow for a quick wintry show.

‘Winter Wind Among Evergreens’ © Denise Bush

Corbett peeks above lifting clouds in this Colorado winter scene.

‘Corbett Clearing’ © Denise Bush

72 Responses to “Winter Scenes In B&W”

  1. I like all the (more or less) horizontal lines in ‘Little Tree In Pasture.’ We can well see the effect of the wind in ‘Winter Wind Among Evergreens.’

    • Thanks for visiting Steve! The trick is to get out before the deer, elk, cattle, skiers and snowmobiles track up the snow. In need of some fresh snow at this time.

      • I had that kind of problem out west a few years ago when I wanted to photograph sand dunes: so many of them were messed up by the tracks of dune vehicles.

  2. I sure do! Winter is often just B&W, except for the blue sky sometimes, which could be hard to get realistic. The first one gives me that crispy winter feeling.

    • Hi Hans! Thanks so much for visiting. That first one is a popular road for photographers but in the winter it is only plowed a mile or two in. If you live beyond, and many people do, you have to park your vehicle and take a snowmobile or cross-country ski the rest of the way home.

  3. Beautiful mono work! I particularly like the first and third shots, they really stand out.

    • Thanks for letting me know your favorites. Sometimes after working on my images and looking at them so intensely I don’t know what I think! Do you ever have that problem?

      • Absolutely! I’m my own worst critic and always curious how others perceive my work. I often look at photos after I publish them and then see things I feel I should have changed or fixed.

  4. Absolutely Stunning! Love them all! And Happy NEw Vaccine Year to you Denise!

  5. Very nice, Denise! Snowy scenes lend themselves well to B&W. ‘Little Tree In Pasture’ is my favorite… such a brave little tree. 🙂

  6. Each one is beautiful, Denise! I always love your incorporation of fences. 😊

  7. I really like the majestic views and the delicate B&W edit you did here. WONDERFUL

  8. 17 bcplimpton

    Love them all but especially Closed Ahead and Sneffels Peak.

  9. Very nice, especially the little tree.

    • Glad you like that one! I have a feeling it might turn out to be the people’s choice here. The zigzag fence is what took it a step further for me.

  10. Wow! Great B&W treatments on their own in addition of great captures.

    • Thank you Yellow cable. I paid special attention to my histogram processing these … wanting to make the snow white while retaining some detail in it.

  11. Great choices to use black and white. Sneffels peaking through is so powerful. These all make me miss those big snows that we rarely get here. Happy snow shooting 2021!

    • We’ve had some good snow so far. Brent has used the snowblower four times already. I’m glad you like the Sneffels shot. I like to get out there with the big Sigma when storms are clearing and the peaks peek out. XO

  12. 25 Mike Pillows

    Love seeing BW done with such a good eye. I am thankful our club still embraces it… sure do miss your spirit there!!!

    • Thank you Mike! I still miss you and all my SJCC friends. I have not found that type of comradery here. I follow along in the Member’s Lounge and I’m with you in spirit. Thank you so much for keeping in touch … it means a lot to me.

  13. I love these all equally. Could not pick a favorite if my life depended on it. (Well—maybe Little Tree) I also appreciated your discussion of how you arrive at the tweaks you make. I’m fascinated by how playing with the color filters just a bit can take an image from ho hum to wow.

    • Thank you for the encouraging words. I have been so indecisive about my work lately … don’t know what’s wrong with me! I don’t know what you use for B&W conversion but Lightroom & Photoshop have the color filters too. I process the image with Photoshop then convert with Silver Efex. I will be making my blog rounds soon. Happy New Year!

  14. Beautiful ! I think all these work as B&W perfectly. Love the tree and fence … happy new year

  15. particularly like “winter in the evergreens” and “little tree in pasture” Very nicely done!

  16. 34 Deb

    Beautiful and peaceful!
    My favorite is “Little Tree in Pasture”!

  17. I love B&W photos and these are all spectacular! I especially love Little tree and Winter Wind

  18. They’re all lovely, Denise. My favorite is the lone tree in the pasture.

    I seldom convert to B & W but when I do I use Silver FX too.

  19. So many great images!

  20. I’m learning from your photos that snow works well in B&W compositions…something I will keep in mind for winter photographs I attempt. Your “Winter Wind Among Evergreens” and “Little Tree in Pasture” are especially evocative. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.

  21. Amazing job.

  22. amazing work

  23. A fine collection, Denise! I am jealous of your snow. I know the Rockies get more than us generally, but we’ve had so little to this point and dry days ahead for another week or so…if one can believe the forecast.
    ‘Winter Wind Among Evergreens’ would be my pick of the bunch. At first I thought there was fog among the trees but reading the title told me you captured the snow being blown out of those trees. Neat shot! I always like finding an isolated tree so “Little Tree in Pasture” caught my attention too…well they all did. 🙂

    • Thank you Steve. I always appreciate your thoughts and comments. I am waiting for some fresh snow here. It gets tracked up pretty quick and that’s when I concentrate on the mountain peaks.

      • Hope the weather delivers some snow for you, Denise. Right now it looks like another snowless week ahead for us.

  24. Your images are wonderful, Denise. I like them all, but my favorite of the bunch is Winter Wind Among Evergreens. I can not enunciate why, I just like that one the best. Maybe because I wish I were there. Keep up the great work. I have been experiencing the joy of B & W and how some images just look better than in color.

    • Yes, and vice versa … some images work much better in color. There were other recent shots I tried in B&W but ended up liking them better in color. I was in a big open area with my long lens when I shot ‘Winter Wind Among Evergreens’. I only got a couple of shots and then it didn’t happen again. Thanks so much for always coming to look. I look forward to seeing your wonderful work in 2021.

  25. Hi. Beautiful images. At about what altitude were you when you took the Sneffels Peak photo?

    • Hi! I was at about 9,000 feet at what is called the Dallas Divide. Sneffels is over 14,000 feet high. I was using a telephoto lens. Glad you like … thanks!

  26. I think my favorites are Corbet Crossing and Little Tree in Pasture. I am not a fan of winter and would prefer to see it in your photos. LOL Love the black and white photos. Change can be fun!

  27. These are fabulous, Denise. Agree, not all color images convert well to monochrome but these work beautifully. Snowy scenes lend especially well. Love “Little Tree” which reminds me of a Michael Kenna. “Winter Wind Among Evergreens” is wonderful and your landscapes are always framed so well. I was an avid Silver Efex Pro user for years and slowly began to just rely on LR to convert. Habits change, I guess, but I am with you on gentle editing…one shouldn’t have to work the pixels to the bone. 🙂 I appreciate your work and our blogging friendship.

    • Thanks so much Jane. I appreciate our blogging friendship too. It has been many years since I first started following you … years before I moved to CO and we’ve been here 5-1/2. I posted the ‘Little Tree’ on FB and someone else mentioned Michael Kenna. I am familiar and like his work although any similarity is coincidental! 😊

  28. Viewing these black and white images are like reading poems. I love the little tree especially.
    Thank you for sharing, Denise.

  29. I know what you mean about the usefulness of Silver Efex. These are lovely, calm, and peaceful. What appeals to me most is the clean, spare look of Little Tree, Corbett Clearing and Winter Wind in the Evergreens.

  30. 64 Craig Seybold

    Love Corbett Clearing and Winter Wind, Denise you are so talented! This is your calling no doubt❤️

    • So nice to hear from you here Craig! I am very happy when I’m out photographing and even happier when I get something I like. I am also happy to see you creating with your beach finds! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and checking in! ❤️

  31. Little tree is definitely my favorite as well… Although I do like the entire set. Good job!

  32. There is something special about winter rendered in black and white. These images are gorgeous, Denise.

  33. “Little Tree in a Pasture” with the meandering fence line in the background is a compelling photo.

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