Island in the Net

A personal blog by Khürt Williams, full of inchoate writing on photography, coffee, and geekery.

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Macro Moments Challenge #39 – Black & White

  • Aperture—ƒ/5.3
  • Camera—NIKON D5100
  • Caption—Asian Lilly in Black
  • Taken—17 June, 2017
  • Copyright—© 2017 Khürt L. Williams
  • Flash fired—no
  • Focal length—44mm
  • ISO—1250
  • Shutter speed—1/30s

I had no clue how I was going to approach this challenge. I don’t often shoot in black and white. I see in colour. We all do. The real world is full of colour. It’s hard for me to imagine how something might look in black in white before I shoot it. However, sometimes I’ll take a colour image and apply a black and white filter and experiment.

I dropped my son off to his summer job at the Montgomery Friends Farmers’ Market and came home get Bhavna. The night before she had stated that she wanted to visit the Farmers’ Market with me. She wanted to see what produce was available. She was still sleeping when I got home. She slept until 10 AM.

While I waited for Bhavna to awaken I brainstormed ideas for the macro challenge. I noticed the dozens of Asian lilies1 blooming in the garden in the house next door. The house has been unoccupied for several months. The owners bought the house at the high end of our neighbourhood housing market and when they moved out a few years ago, the market was softer. The house has been rented twice over the last few years but the most recent tenants vacated a few months ago. The house is currently up for sale.

I set up my tripod, camera, and Nikon with Kenko extension tubes attached to the AF-S Nikkor DX 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6. The sky was overcast all weekend with occasional downpours of rain. Getting everything in focus in the low light of the day was a challenge but fortunately, there was very little wind. I stopped down the aperture to f/22 and even lower — f/32 and bumped up the ISO to 6400.

I fired off a few shots but did not have a feel for what the shots would look like in black and white. I played around with the macro setting and effects settings on the Nikon D5100. I found one setting that simulates “night vision“. That produced black and white JPEG images. I continued shooting but when I imported to Adobe Lightroom for processing I preferred the look of the night vision image more than any of the others.

The only processing is the application of a Fuji Neopan 100 Acros film preset. I think it’s interesting how the film preset pushed the bright orange of the Lilly to a stark white.

Macro Moments was created by avid macro photographer, Susan Gutterman, to share the beauty of macro photography and learn from others photographers. A new challenge begins on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.


  1. True lilies belong to the genus Lilium and grow from plump scaly bulbs. Asian lilies are true lilies. Daylilies, canna lilies and peace lilies are not lilies.