Monochrome Madness: High

Monochrome Madness, a weekly gallery of black and white images hosted by Australian photographer Leanne Cole. This months theme is High.


This is part of the very unusual “Bling Bling” building. Found on the cusp of Liverpool’s Ropewalk district and the Liverpool One development, it was commissioned by hairdresser Herbert Howe to be an emporium dedicated to the hairdressing industry. Its quite an impressive building, with projections coming out the sides looking like elaborate gold picture frames. One of these is in the picture above, you can walk in them, but to me it looks a little scary, I mean how does it stay there?

For more black and white images or if you want to know how to join in, please visit the Monochrome Madness gallery.

AfterBefore Friday – week 19

Stacy from Visual Venturing runs a weekly forum called AfterBefore Friday, showing images before and after processing. You don’t need to be an expert to join, or even explain what you have done, just submit a before and after image. I have found that trying to break down the process and explain why I have followed certain steps has made me think a lot about what I am doing and why I am doing it. Stacy and her other regular contributors have some really good advice and demonstrations of what they can achieve. It’s worth looking at, I’ve learned loads!

This photo was taken on a warm afternoon strolling around the Liverpool waterfront. The bright light reflected off the River Mersey and the strong afternoon sunlight created very difficult lighting conditions. Very contrasty light seemed to provide the ideal conditions for silhouettes.

Click on the images to view as a slideshow.

I used Lightroom 5 to bring out some detail in the lock itself and to increase the impact of the highlights in the picture.

  • Firstly I increased the exposure very slightly to see how much detail could be drawn out of the lock in the foreground.
  • Then I used the radial filter tool to increase the exposure around the lock to bring out the red colour and the reflections on the metal.
  • I then increased the contrast and the clarity to create more defined highlights and bokeh and increased the saturation to bring out the blue in the sky and the red of the lock.
  • Finally I added a very slight vignette to draw the viewers eye to the centre.

I liked the original totally silhouetted image, but found the composition too clumsy for a totally dark foreground, there were too many elements all in one place. I needed to separate one element out and the lock was the ideal subject.  I wanted to boost the highlights from the water and also the shadows from the railings.

I’d love to know what you think!

Visit Stacy’s ABFriday forum to see some more After and Before images.



Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Roads and Paths

steps and paths
steps and paths

Steps used as paths and seats and also… as steps!!

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge 

This was taken in Liverpool at the beginning of the summer, it was lovely and warm and the bright sun in the late afternoon created some lovely shadows.

Just returned from a wonderful two week holiday, I’m looking forward to visiting the “reader” to catch up on everyone’s posts!




Monochrome Madness: week 24

One Park West, Liverpool
One Park West, Liverpool

The One Park West building in Liverpool, designed by architect César Pelli in 2008. It contains apartments, offices and a gym and was awarded the Carbuncle Cup in 2009 for the worst new building in the UK. Personally I think this seems a little unfair, its a very eye-catching building with some interesting lines and from the side it almost looks like a ship going out to sea.

Submitted for Leanne Cole and Laura Macky’s  Monochrome Madness.