Seven B&W Assignments Resuts

Seven Black & White Assignments Results


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Over the last two months I’ve given my newsletter subscribers seven black and white assignments to carry out in the own time, and invited them to send in the results. You can see the best images below, along with the brief that I gave them for each assignment. I had too many entries to include every photos, so I’ve edited them down to a selection that includes a good range of interpretations of the briefs.

Assignment 1: Metal

The Brief: Look around your home or your neighborhood for metal objects that are good photographic subjects. It doesn’t matter if your chosen object is big or small. 

Metal subjects look interesting in black and white thanks to their shapes and textures. You can add contrast, clarity or structure in post-processing for extra impact.

Assignment: Metal | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Metal | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Metal | Photographer: Pierre Fonsny

B&W assignments

Assignment: Metal | Photographer: Pierre Fonsny

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Assignment: Metal | Photographer: George Mitchell

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Assignment: Metal | Photographer: Ian Booth

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Assignment: Metal | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment 2: Roads

The brief: Most people live on a road. What happens if you follow it? Travel far enough and the road takes you to exotic destinations far from the comfort of home.

You might simply make a photo of your street for this challenge. Another idea is to get in close and photograph the lines and symbols painted on the road. Or you could go deeper and explore the idea of the road as a metaphor for travel and personal growth. It’s up to you.

Assignment: Roads | Photographer: Pierre Fonsny

B&W assignments

Assignment: Roads | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Roads | Photographer: Michael Hoskins

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Assignment: Roads | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Roads | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Roads | Photographer: Ian Booth

B&W assignments

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Assignment 3: At home

The brief: Find an interesting subject in your home, shed or garage. The difficulty with this challenge is that your every day surroundings are familiar that it can be difficult to see the photographic potential. 

You need to look at everything in your home with fresh eyes. If it helps, take a familiar object and put it in a new place. Keep it simple – use window light to illuminate the subject.

Assignment: At home | Photographer: Steven Agnew

B&W assignments

Assignment: At home | Photographer: John Tollefsen

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Assignment: At home | Photographer: Bob

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Assignment: At home | Photographer: George Mitchell

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Assignment: At home | Photographer: George Mitchell

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Assignment: At home | Photographer: Paul Hancock

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Assignment: At home | Photographer: Eva

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Assignment: At home | Photographer: Ian Booth

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Assignment 4: Trees

The brief: The obvious approach is to photograph trees in the landscape. But another idea is photograph trees in gardens or an urban environment. Can you show the relationship between trees and buildings in your neighborhood?

Assignment: Trees | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Trees | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Trees | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Trees | Photographer: Craig

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Assignment: Trees | Photographer: Ian Booth

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Assignment: Trees | Photographer: Ian Booth

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Assignment: Trees | Photographer: Richard Salmon

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Assignment: Trees | Photographer: Stephen Frost

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Assignment: Trees | Photographer: Pierre Fonsny

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Assignment 5: Shapes

The brief: Geometric shapes are a good starting point for this challenge as they’re all around us, especially in man made objects like buildings and walls. Look for squares, rectangles and circles. It’s amazing what you see when you start looking.

Another type of shape you’ll have no trouble finding is numbers and letters. Move in close to create bold, graphic compositions. You can add impact to this type of photo by increasing contrast and clarity when you develop them.

Assignment: Shapes | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Shapes | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Shapes | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Shapes | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Shapes | Photographer: Eva

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Assignment: Shapes | Photographer: Marilyn Owen

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Assignment: Shapes | Photographer: Steven Batchelder

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Assignment: Shapes | Photographer: Pierre Fonsny

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Assignment: Shapes | Photographer: Pierre Fonsny

B&W assignments

Assignment 6: Scavenger hunt

The brief: Make a black and white photo of something that you find.

Stones, leaves, shells and flowers are all potentially interesting subjects that you might find laying around. So are man-made objects like discarded cups or old furniture. 

My three year old likes to pick things up and he’s been a great source of material for this theme.

Whatever you find, you can either photograph it where you find it or bring it home and shoot it like a still life. The interpretation is completely up to you.

Assignment: Scavenger hunt | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Scavenger hunt | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Scavenger hunt | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Scavenger hunt | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Scavenger hunt | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Scavenger hunt | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Scavenger hunt | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Scavenger hunt | Photographer: Steven Batchelder

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Assignment: Scavenger hunt | Photographer: George Mitchell

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Assignment: Scavenger hunt | Photographer: Ian Booth

B&W assignments

Assignment 7: Buildings

The brief: Look at your surroundings with fresh eyes. Imagine that you’re a tourist in your own town, and that it’s the first time you’ve been there. What would a visitor find interesting about the buildings in your neighborhood?

Are there any interesting buildings in your local area? They don’t have to be historic or grand examples of cutting edge architecture. An ordinary suburban home can be just as fascinating photographed the right way.

Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Ian Booth

B&W assignments

Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Ian Booth

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Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Terry Olsen

B&W assignments

Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Anne-Trine Benjaminsen

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Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Angela Nirta

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Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Marilyn Owen

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Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Terry Olsen

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Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: Robert Apel

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Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: George Mitchell

B&W assignments

Assignment: Buildings | Photographer: George Mitchell

B&W assignments

Further reading


The Creative Image

The Creative Image

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About Andrew S. Gibson

Andrew S. Gibson is a writer, publisher, traveler, workshop leader and photographer based in the UK. He started writing about photography while traveling in Bolivia, and has been published in many prestigious photography magazines including EOS magazine, where he worked as a Writer and Technical Editor for two years. He is inspired by meeting new people, seeing new places and having new experiences. Check out his photography ebooks here.

Comments

  1. Hi Andrew,
    I was contemplating joining your challenge group, but browsing your results above
    i was disappointed that you over used one particular photographer.
    i believe with this type of challenge only one entry per person would benefit others,
    who would get exposure ( and encouragement ) who obviously not at the moment.
    maybe you could consider this in the future.
    Kind regards.
    John Donnelly

    1. Author

      Hi John, sorry you feel that way, but I felt it was better to show the best photos that were sent in so that they can inspire others. There’s still a good range of photographers represented in the photos though.

  2. These photos have certainly inspired me to broaden my view of the world and photograph more. Ive joined a veterans photographic group and we can now meet weekly (now restrictions are easing). Having a theme and posting each others photos helps expand our knowledge and in my case encourages experimentation. Thanks for providing this.

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