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Holiday lights dressed up in basic black...

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605

Downtown White Plains NY - Holiday lightsAbout a week ago I was kindly invited by a resident to take some photos at a coop complex in downtown White Plains called the Broadlawn.   The pre-war complex is know for its subtle use of white lights in its courtyard during the holiday season.     At first I thought this would be 100% color photos.  But  a couple of the pictures really underwhelmed me in color and I just had a gut instinct that black and white would work better.  So I converted this photo and VOILA!  It had a much better effect.

People often say that "the camera never lies".  But that does not mean that it automatically recreates what our eye sees.  It doesn't work that way.   The camera lens that has the sophistication of the human eye has not been built.   So, we tweak and dodge and burn our photos to try and recreate what our eyes actually saw.  In this case, what my eyes saw looked spectacular in the full color in early evening, but in practice, it didn't turn out that way and converting it to black and white actually restored much of the impact the color picture was missing.

But I will say, that for the most part - holiday lights are best done in color.

Original Post: Can Holiday lights look better in black and white?

© 2012 - RGHicks - http://fotosonthefly.biz - All rights reserved.

Anne M. Costello
Weidel Realtors - Yardley, PA

Ruthmarie: What a beautiful, artistic shot. Looks like something from a magazine. Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming year!

Dec 20, 2012 03:48 AM
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

All depends on the background colors and textures, but I think this one looks really good in black and white.

Dec 20, 2012 05:25 AM
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Hi RuthMarie, This is very special. I think of New York back in the 40th and the traditional Christmas holidays. While I wasn't born yet, so many time magazine photos of this black and white composition.
Dec 20, 2012 12:40 PM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Hi Anne, 

Initially I really loved the play of the lights on the bush branches in real life, but it just didn't work all that well in color.  I was really disappointed. So before discarding, I decided to try black and white.  Glad I did becuase I was able to get the effect that attracted me to begin. 

Hi Than, 

Sometimes you just have to try things. 

Hi William, 

Thank you!  In the end, it did remind me of something from the 30s or 40s - or perhaps even the 20s.  I don't know if they used Christmas lights back then, but they might have in a small way.  It helped that the complex  where I took the shot was built in the late 20s. I just really resisted the notion of black and white for holiday lights...when I treated the photo like any other photo and got away from my obsession that it had to be in color,  I realized that it would probably be better in monochrome. 

Dec 21, 2012 12:21 AM
Hillary Sheperd
Servpro of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon - Scarsdale, NY
Co-Owner ~ Servpro of Scarsdale / Mount Vernon, NY

Ruthmarie:  This is the first time that I've LOVED the B&W image of a holiday setting and think you're a master!  It's amazing to see the lights punch on a B&W shot and you are truly an artist.  THanks for sharing and Happy Holidays!

Dec 21, 2012 02:22 AM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Thanks Hillary....I'm glad you liked it.  To be totally honest, I was really hesitating to put up a B&W for a Christmas photo. It just seemed so WRONG.  Just like I fought with myself about even trying B&W conversion - I had to force my fingers to post this!  But I really liked how it came out.  I need to learn to trust my personal taste I guess. 

Dec 22, 2012 02:33 AM
Katerina Gasset
The Gasset Group & Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Provo, UT
Amplify Your Real Estate & Life Dreams!
Wow! The black and white effect really did it Ruthmarie. Picture looks great. 
May 08, 2013 11:56 PM
Erika Rogers
Red Rock Real Estate ~ Southern Utah's Largest Independent Brokerage - Saint George, UT
St George Utah Real Estate & Relocation Specialist
Excellent photography Ruthmarie. Congratulations!
Jun 17, 2013 10:57 PM
Melissa Muse Wiggans
Real Estate Muses - San Antonio, TX
CRS, GRI, ABR - Real Estate Muses
I just love it Ruthmarie! All the best and keep up the good work.
Jun 20, 2013 02:42 PM
Petra Norris
Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
Awesome shot Ruthmarie. It brings back the life of the picture.
Jun 20, 2013 02:49 PM
Pat and Ed Okenica
DRAKE REALTY Lake Oconee Ga - Greensboro, GA
Lake Oconee Ga Real Estate
It's spectacular Ruthmarie! Good job!
Jun 24, 2013 03:05 PM
Waynette Hoover Araj
Keller Williams Realty - Asheboro, NC
Connecting your Dreams with the Right Real Estate
Great accompanying photo Ruthmarie. Two thumbs up!
Jul 19, 2013 02:30 AM