Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Black and White Wednesday Returns on April 18

Flying Cup and Saucer

Now that I am finally organized and back to blogging on a regular schedule, I am very happy to announce that Black and White Wednesday - A Culinary Gallery returns next week on Wednesday, April 18.

There are, however, a few small changes in the dynamics of how the weekly event will be run and hosted. Although I dearly wish I could continue the pace of fielding your images and presenting them in real time on the Wednesday of the event, I (and other hosts) will be accepting your talented contributions for several days before they are put up in a gallery on each Wednesday. The guest hosts will be featured for as many weeks as the event continues to hold interest. Given its popular twenty-seven week stint prior to my blogging break, I do expect another long and happy run, likely through the end of this year, perhaps into next. I am now booking host requests, which I will post at least four weeks ahead. There will also be a short announcement here every week to advise who the current host is, as well as the email address and homepage link for that host. If you are interested in hosting a week, please leave a comment with your contact information or send me an email (see address below), and I will arrange with you for a slot which suits your schedule.

The new guidelines, therefore, are now:

* Post a black and white culinary image on your blog from now through Monday 6:00 p.m. New York time. Promptly send the host your NAME, BLOG NAME, and IMAGE (size to be determined by host). Please mention the event and link to this announcement in your post. Should the event be guest hosted, please also add a link to that host's blog. I am working on a new logo; its inclusion in your post is optional.

* Because of significant time zone differences, the host will post the gallery on her/his specific Wednesday. Maintaining a deadline of Monday 6:00 p.m. New York time ensures that the host will have time to sort and upload the images before posting the gallery. The host reserves the latitude to post the gallery at any hour during the Wednesday.

* As usual, there are no restrictions. Your photo needn't be of food, but anything of a culinary nature, from a stack of dishes to a restaurant storefront. You can also submit more than one photo per week, but do ensure that the photos are distinct from each other so that the gallery will represent as much diversity as possible.

Since I am kicking off Week # 28, please send your details and approximately 500 X 700 pixel images with BWW in the subject line to thewellseasonedcook AT yahoo DOT com.

For further reference, tips, and back story of the event, I am reprising the text of the original announcement below. Thanks in advance for your fine photographs. I'm really looking forward to bringing back Black and White Wednesday in living color. ; )

Black and white food photos just don't get any respect in my opinion. Everyone is so gung-ho about color, and while I cannot argue against the naturally sensuous and appetizing default qualities of color (after all, food is in color), there is something to be said about the unique tonality of monochrome photography, the sublime textures which can pop when a color-to-B/W conversion is finessed in your processing software. I'll bet you have more than one photo that you growl about because its cast is too yellow, green, or blue regardless of whether you shoot under natural or artificial light. Black and white can dramatically impact your images and train your eye to view highlights, shadows, and midtones in a whole new light, if you'll pardon the photog pun.
So, what I am proposing is Black and White Wednesday, a new culinary photo event which will run weekly and feature food-related imagery. Your photo/s need not be of actual food, but also of the preparation, presentation, and consumption of it. There are restaurants, with their facades, signs, and awnings, kitchens and staffs; sidewalk cafes and umbrella tables; street food (carts, kiosks, food trucks); food courts and fast-food joints; farmers markets, stalls, stores, grocery shelves; and pressing your lens, rather than your nose, against that bakery window. Look, too, at what's going on inside your own kitchens and dining areas: pantries, pot racks, tools and utensils, appliances; glassware, dishes, and utensils; set tables, buffets, cocktail and dinner parties, and picnics; and friends, neighbors, and strangers sitting on curbs chomping down corn on the cob or licking the drips off ice cream cones. Whether it's a bowl of rice to a pot of bouillabaisse bubbling on your stove, leave no crumb unturned.

Participation is as easy as I can possibly make it. You don't need a story nor a recipe nor a location. There will be no competing, curating, nor critiquing. Even though I've created a logo, its use is optional. For those who use Twitter, I've created a hashtag (#BWFood) to make it easier to find related conversations.

The image/s can be ancient or shot the same day as posted, but you must be the owner and hold the copyright. This event is open to all: vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores, but please refrain from submitting images that would require a strong stomach. If you need any sort of clarity, please send me an email. I will respond quickly.

Tips for Black and White Images:

* Adjust your digital camera settings (either in auto modes or manually) to shoot in B/W. Aim for a correctly exposed image to minimize corrections later on, or ...

* Shoot in color, then play with the different B/W conversion tools in your processing software. Most software offers the simplicity of a click or the manipulation of sliders. There are several tools such as desaturation and removal of color with effects that are less sophisticated and visually arresting as others, but do, in fact, do the job. If you choose these methods, you have the option of further refining the highlights, shadows, and midtones by working with the levels dialogue box. Levels can adjust the lighting to brighten and darken areas of your image, as well as change contrast, for more drama.

* Experiment with different B/W filter effects, such as Green, Orange, or Infrared. These filters will not actually impart colors onto your images, but manipulate the light waves to create very different B/W looks. Some of these effects will be more attractive to you than others based on composition, subject matter, and personal taste. Although all B/W photos have vague warm or cool tones, you will find that filters such as Sepia or Cyanotype will tint your images with either discernibly brown or blue tones. Given the inexact and debatable nature of the definition of monochrome/grayscale, and that color monitors are not equally calibrated, nor do our very human eyes register color exactly as those of the next gal/fellow, I will also feature monochrome/grayscale images with Sepia and Cyanotype tones in addition to the obviously well-known and traditional B/Ws. Please know, though, that B/Ws tinted pink, purple, green, cobalt, etc., are best suited elsewhere; perhaps there is a Flickr group which specializes in these images.

*Always consult the Help feature of your processing software for additional techniques specific to your brand.

* Consider shooting film. The tonal range of B/W film makes for extraordinary images that are very natural and attractive. In our digital age of the most modern technology, film may seem antiquated and slow, but the results can be quite lovely and virtually impossible to replicate otherwise.

* Don't forget your camera phone. There are many apps that are inexpensive or free which you can download for instant, funky, black and white looks.

* Your post processing can include adding textures such as noise and blur for creative effect.

Let's see...have I left anything out? Oh, yes, that sink full of sudsy, dirty dishes. Really. You'd be surprised at how artfully you can arrange and frame a mess. ; )


  1. I would love to host this event Susan. I ve participated init for so long I think .It definitely made me think out of the box!

  2. susan i m so in i d love to guest host BWW for you.. nt that i m a great clicker but then the good ones always inspire me.. let me know if i may do it for you

  3. Hi Susan,

    I am so happy the BW Wednesday is back in action. I would love to participate one of the available weeks. Please put my name in.

    Hugs and take care,

  4. Dear Susan, i'll be happy to host whenever it's convenient. Also, can I submit the photo I posted today to #28?

  5. I have a new camera - Im so joining this year!

  6. I am aso glad that you are bringing the event back! Looking forward to the roundup.



  7. Welcome back and big wishes for a long BWW run! :-)

  8. Welcome back Susan and am glad to see B&W event is back. I would love to host this event.

  9. How lovely, so is from Monday 16 that we can send photos to you? I missed BWW, but I am sure that it is a lot of work for you, I will host one week later on, if you get busy or tired or need a break :-).


  10. So happy to see this event back again! Looking forward to participate and may be host sometime later this year :)

  11. Allesandra - You can send the photos anytime prior and up to the weekly Monday deadlines. So April 16 would be the last day to submit.

    Thanks, everyone for your enthusiastic reception. I know BWW will return to its popular former glory with your fine participation.

  12. Would love to host the event and be a part of this tradition. Please put down on the list for the hosts. Thanks much!

  13. Thanks Susa, I didn't make it this week... school holidays and all, but definitely next week :-). Are you hosting next week too?


  14. Welcome back Susan. During your absense I was contacted by a group in New York. They had seen one of my photos on your sight and asked to use it for wall art in a shop in New York. I requested payment for the photo which they agreed to. I'm thrilled to think one of my photos will e used as wall art.

  15. Dear Susan, delighted to see you back! Hope all is well with you now. Love the new idea. Warm regards

    Lizzy (Good Things)