Postcards of a drystone wall – or two

Colsterdale, Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, Wharfedale

You can’t live near the Yorkshire Dales and not love a drystone wall, carving up the landscape into pasture-sized segments. But are they better photographed in black and white or colour? They are after all, fairly monochrome themselves, Only you can decide …

Near Grassington, Wharfedale

Near Hebden, Wharfedale

Enough of decisions. Here are a couple in good old-fashioned black and white.

Near Slipstone Crags, Colsterdale

This one’s for Monday Window. It’s not often you see a window above a dry stone wall. And this one’s not quite in the right place. The view could have been better framed. And a bit of double glazing wouldn’t come amiss.

Near Lofthouse, Nidderdale.

And finally…

Near Burnsall, Wharfedale

The featured photo shows part of Brimham Rocks, Nidderdale

2030 Photo Challenge #47

Monday Window

55 thoughts on “Postcards of a drystone wall – or two

  1. I think the three last ones are all nice in monochrome, but mostly I prefer colour. I am a colour person…I believe it is the front stones up close that makes me love the last three images. Your last image is my favorite – love everything about it. The lines, the sepia and the vinjette.

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  2. Thanks for that Ann-Christine. When I was choosing the photos for this, I honestly expected the images to stand up well to conversion. But I rejected such a lot as being just – well -dull. My own favourite is the featured image, perhaps because it was already pretty monochromatic as it was a very dull day. That last one has worked fairly well, but I still prefer its green original.

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    1. Thanks Frank. I wasn’t awfully pleased with the monochrome versions, though I think that with a better editing programme I could have done better. Like you, I preferred colour.

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  3. Beautiful photos – I prefer color, but the black and white photos enhance the contrast of the boundary lines created by the rock walls. It must have been quite a back breaking task building those walls so many years ago. AND I especially love the effect of sliding the line between black and white and color. Nice touch.

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    1. Dry stone walling is still an appreciated craft skill. You quite often meet people repairing or building them, and only very recently, I saw an advertisement from someone seeking a young apprentice.

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  4. I am going to go for colour in those slider images, the green just pops! But the Brimham Rocks photo is excellent in black and white. The shades and tones are perfect in that one. The tree is so lovely. I adore winter trees and their structure. And the rocks just stand out so well. I think trying to convert what was a colour photo is where the problem comes with B&W photos. You really need to be imaging the subject without colour. You look for different elements in a frame than with using colour (the frame btw is brilliant) you need to observe textures, patterns, contrasts etc. And you mentioned that a lot of your photos looked dull when converted. This is where upping the colours help – as I mentioned in my post. Making the sky more dramatic, lightening or darkening the shadows. It’s all a very different way of looking at a scene.
    I think I have fallen in love with black and white this month and may be setting myself more challenges in the future and I simply must set the camera onto mono settings and head up ‘my’ hill.
    Thank you as always for a lovely post.
    Jude xx

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    1. Thanks Jude. I, in contrast, have fallen out of love with b/w. I think because of what you said in your comments, which make a lot of sense. I think I’ll make b/w my starting point, instead of, as here, making it an add-on. Or else getting hold of more sophisticated editing programmes. As ever, you’re making me think. Thanks! xx

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  5. Your Brimham rocks scene is my favourite of the monochrome. As you say, the others are just, well, dull. Jude gives you an idea in her comment as to what you should be looking at in the frame, and I agree – textures, patterns, contrasts…. Getting the tones and the contrast right is a lot of what it’s about

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    1. Yes, Sue, it was an experiment that didn’t really work. But I’d taken it too far to abandon it. And the tools I have to play with are limited, but I might do something about that.

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  6. What a lovely selection no matter what format you’ve used. I’m sure I’ve stood in that spot near Grassington with the lone barn (yes, I know there are two!), although it is a scene you can find in many areas.

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  7. I also love a drystone wall. They’re such a contrast to the dark dressed and mortared stone walls in the city where I grew up. I prefer the colour photos because the black and white lose the subtleties of the green. I have some lovely monochrome photos of walls in the Dales but they were taken in colour with snow on the ground.

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    1. Oh, that sounds nice. I prophesy there’ll be little enough now this year though. Yes, I don’t think b/w works too well for the walls. They need the green fields!

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    1. I think I have some way to go before I feel comfortable with b/w. I’m going to try to take my originals in that way for a while and see if that improves things. Gotta keep learning!

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  8. Drystone walls always make me think of skill and patience and an enduring quality. I think they make a good subject for black and white photography, especially captured against a bright, low cloud as in the top picture.

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  9. Thank you for that unique and plain window. I love your walled landscapes. Not something you see this-side of the pond. To me the color versions are more likable.

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  10. The Header’s lovely too. In that first you’ve used a ‘green-toned’ black and white? and I rather like the faded look. In the second I prefer the black and white and the last lends itself to the drama of that sepia/brown. I’m kwite into playing with the shades if I have time. It’s just good to give something a different look. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ As you have ably demonstrated.

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  11. Love the experimentation, learn so much from it. And like Jude and Sue I love the Brimham Rocks, but the rest are great too. Yorkshire landscape always looks fabulous in my eyes

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    1. Good old Yorkshire! But yes, photo challenges keep me on my toes, because I’m in no way a photographer, and it’s good to have Jude and co. stretching my skills.

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  12. They’re all stunning in their own ways and I’m going to sit on the fence on this – or more appropriately on the wall! That said, I absolutely love the header image in b & w.

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  13. Very interesting to compare, and thinking in black and white does make one try to ‘see’ differently. On balance I think I prefer colour, but it is good to experiment. Those walls really are incredible.

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