One Photo, Two visions

Morkel Erasmus All Authors, Morkel 12 Comments

Hi guys – quick one from me.

Photos tell stories. Stories capture our imagination. Our imagination takes us places we only wish to ever see physically.

Your photo can tell a story in many ways – composition being a key ingredient here. All the technical details also come into play – your choice of aperture and shutter speed…and lastly your choice of processing.

I present to you a photo taken on our Great Migration photo safari (if you haven’t yet, make sure you read my recently posted trip reports about this one).

We encountered some Masai Giraffe under a brewing thunderstorm close to our camp as we left on our game drive one afternoon. They were obliging and posed quite nicely for us.

Here’s my colour vision for this scene – pretty much how it looked to the naked eye I would say.


Nice pose, eh?

Nice backdrop of the Oloololo Escarpment. Nice clouds. That’s about the kind of comment I would expect if I were to share this one somewhere online.

“Nice shot”

Then I went for a monochrome conversion.

I love me some monochrome but it’s been a painstaking process to learn WHEN to use it and, just as important HOW to use it.

Conversion to monochrome is not just a simple boom-click-bang-save process.

It takes a lot of TLC sometimes, and it requires you to attune your eye and mind to rid itself of colour conventions and limitations. If you’ve been intrigued by the new Masterclass offerings on the Wild Eye website, then keep your eyes peeled for my Monochrome Masterclass to be announced soon.

In converting this photo to the monochrome vision I had when I shot it, I went for an infra-red feel.

One of my next photographic goals is to obtain an infra-red converted camera which shoots infra-red natively! What does this photo convey to you NOW?


I would expect to receive some better feedback on this image than just “nice shot”…

Feel free to add your thoughts on these two images in the comments below!

Until I write to you again, keep practicing those monochrome conversions…

Morkel Erasmus

* * *

Morkel’s links:

Comments 12

  1. Jacques

    Hi Mrokel, I really love the monochrome photo. The colour one is nice 😉 but the monochrome has so much impact for me. I love those dark clouds and the diagonal line it creates. Also the clouds transform from dark to light is amazing. The photo is sharp from the front to the mountains. Well done on this monochrome. Transforming an ordinary nice photo to an impact photo. You are right, conversion to monochrome is not just a simple boom-click-bang-save process. It take times. Will definitely look out for the Monochrome Masterclass

  2. Michel

    definitely more dramatic. and more deepness (strangely).
    Colours: looks like “a nice capture in/during a safari.”
    B&W: there is story behind… alone? last one of a group? a more interested and curious one? freed from a zoo? was ill?

    good question. indeed.
    very subjective, from one to another…



  3. Nan Anderson

    I agree with Laurel… I am usually not a fan of monochromatic but I think it’s because I don’t know when to use it. In this case I am more captivated by the monochromatic picture. The monochromatic is so explosive, dynamic and brings out the look of this storm that is brewing. The clouds look so omnious, active and ready to spill their contents. I wish I lived closer so that I could take some of your wokshops! By reading the various blogs all of you guys post I am being challenged to try new things, more monochromatic pictures, will be one of them. I enjoy the Wild Eye posts so much. Thank you for taking your time to blog.

  4. Jacobus De Wet

    Mono. The color lacks a bid of “color” the sky is dramatic and the pose is great. Mono has great contrast and place the animal in size context with the landscape. These tall horse are always odd subjects, I find especially on their own.

  5. Azhar Khan

    Nice Shot 😛

    I actually prefer the colour version mainly because the face stands out (very slightly) where as in the monotone it still stands out – just not as starkly.

    Still love both versions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *