Experimenting with Black and White Florals

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Before I took up photography, my kids and gardening were my interests. So my appreciation of the beauty of flowers came from growing them in my garden. I started with a small garden in my front and back yards; expanding until the garden surrounded the house and there was no longer any lawn to cut. My garden, however, is mostly shaded. So I visit my neighbours to capture more colourful flowers that need more sunlight to survive. Luckily the neighbourhood has embraced gardens and I have plenty of choice. Whenever I have a small window of time I like to take pictures in my neighbourhood. In fact, I take pictures of flowers all the time. Who can resist? So my archives are full of flowers.




My first choice is always to process my flowers in colour. But lately, I have more of an appreciation for black and white images and have started to experiment with split toning. I hope that my choices are appropriate and that the black and white processing enhances the images. For the Phlox, the flowers were already white and the background green. The conversion really made the Lilac bloom pop against the black background. In the case of the snowball blooms in the second image, they were also white and framed in green. I love these flowers but I wanted a warmer, more antique look. So after I converted to black and white, I played with the hue and saturation in the split toning function of Lightroom.




This hydrangea was actually light pink. The snowball blooms are really beautiful and showy in real life, but that can be difficult to capture in an image. I have deleted many images of hydrangea because they just didn’t do anything for me. I was happy with this composition but the light pink colour was uninspiring. This was also the case with the echinacea or cone flowers. So again, I experimented with the hue and saturation in the split toning function of Lightroom. Let me know what you think of these images. Please click to enlarge the second and third images for better viewing. As usual I have what I think are best images, first and last. What do you think?





26 thoughts on “Experimenting with Black and White Florals

  1. That Echinacea turned out well in B & W – I never would have thought of that particular flower in monotone. I must try it next time I see some.

    1. Glad you liked it. I was happy with the composition but not the colours of the original image so I was in a mood to try something new. I’m experimenting with b/w a little more these days. Sometimes it works and sometimes not.

  2. I love doing B&W …. i like the way its strips the image down to its most basic elements ….. depending on the subject i might go for a dark dramatic look or a lighter high key or overexposed look … or maybe anything in between 😉 it really depends …. manipulating the colour sliders also works wonders on B&W images ….

    My favourites in the is set would be the top and bottom image … with the bottom one in my top spot.

    Great job on experimenting Beth … i look forward to seeing more …. with winter showing up .. snowy landscapes are great to convert and manipulate in B&W …. a lot can be done in Lightroom but my favourite B&W conversion software in NIK Silver Efex Pro.

    1. Thanks Robert. I’m learning to appreciate b/w too. I have been using Lightroom or Photoshop mostly because I have both. I’m doing more with Lightroom because I use it for initial viewing and sorting of my photos. But if I don’t get what I like than I try with photoshop and often will finish my images in photoshop. I tried the NIK software and it was great but yet another piece of software to buy and learn. I don’t need it for street photography or the very few other images that I convert. But maybe if I start to do more, I’ll try it again sometime in the future.

      I hope to do more winter images but I’m not a fan of the cold. Sometimes it just hard to go out and do it. 🙂

  3. I really, really like the first image (probably my fav), but it looks more like phlox than lilac to me. Love the depths here and the snowball pic is exquisite. I love that split tone you are talking about, almost sepia. I’ve been adding more and more black and white images to one of my Etsy shops too. It’s fun to try other things instead of color all the time. don’t think I’ve processed flowers this way tho. I’ll have to look back into my many millions of flower shots too. Can’t get enough that’s for sure. Thanks for visiting my latest post again Beth, it’s always nice to see you there.
    peace n abundance,

    1. Thank you so much for identifying the phlox. Oops! I’ll change that right away. 🙂 Most people have picked the phlox, which is great. But its so nice to hear that someone likes another of my images too. Thanks for taking the time to give me such great feedback. It’s always a pleasure to visit your blog.

  4. That first shot is stunning. The black and white balance is perfect, and the petals look so soft, I want to touch them!

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