50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Instagram, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

There are a lot of flowers in the house right now.  I enjoy all of them and love photographing them, but there is something about the rose that seems to embody grace:

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

There is also something inherently graceful about a black and white photograph. I find that limiting the color palette is a form of simplicity even if it is not simple to do.  In this case, I started with this original photo:

The original

The original

Before converting it to black and white, I edited it to this version using Lightroom:

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

ISO 800 50mm f/5.6 1/20

I have increased the saturation, vibrance, and clarity.  I like the original version better than this edited version, but it has been my experience that a crisp and vibrant color photo often transforms into a more interesting black and white version than a softer color photo does.

Having created the more dynamic color version, I then edited it using the Silver Efex Pro plug in within Lightroom.  As I usually do, I began with choosing a filter that looked closest to what I wanted to achieve and then edited from there.  It is rare that I apply a filter and then don’t edit it further.  In this case this filter was a bit too dark for my liking, I increased the light by using the sliders for both the highlights and the shadows.  Back in Lightroom, I added a vignette.

This photo was shot using my Canon 50D with a 50mm lens and a magnifier.  This allows me to get more of a macro photo.  The difficulty in using this set up though is getting adequate light.  In this case I went with f/5.6 and 1/20 shutter speed.  That’s a slow shutter speed, I got a lot of blurry images.  Using the tripod would have made this easier.

The beautiful thing about flowers is that they are always changing.  Here’s another photo, this time using my iPhone, taken this morning:

View this post on Instagram

Roses in the morning light. #photography #goodmorning #flowers

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

Lovely, but it is still the black and white version that says graceful to me.  What do you think? Do you have a favorite version? Is there a flower that you think is more graceful than the rose? Do you have a favorite way to convert images to black and white?  Feel free to leave a comment below.



28 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

  1. I like the BW version. Adjusting the saturation here and there in colour mode, that made the foreground pop out more in the final version. As you said, sometimes less colour equals simplicity. Less overwhelming and noisy with colour to loosely put it. If you have quite a few objects with a lot of colour, then a photo can feel quite garish – but I suppose it can great more “shades” when turned into BW or a sepia-toned image.


  2. how perfect to feature the rose for graceful…. ahhhh – and to mention that b&w has that vibe too – so true.
    and no, I don’t think any flower is more graceful…. even though roses are not my favorite flowers – I like them – but like others more…


  3. Pingback: Photo Challenge – Graceful – The Bag Lady

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  5. I’m sure if I was on my laptop, I would be able to see the photos taken with your phone, but I can’t see them on my phone. The black and white rose is beautiful. I love reading about your editing process.


  6. These are all beautiful shots, but I like the B&W one the best for this topic. I actually would have never thought about flowers in regards to gracefulness, but it seems so perfect. Especially the way you portrayed the white rose!


  7. Nora says:

    Hmm that’s a tough one. I am almost strictly a black and white photographer, but I have had times when the photo needed to be in color. I see how this situation is difficult. Honestly I enjoy both color and black and white.


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