Culture in Black and White

This post is about the selection process for my submission to Leanne Cole Monochrome Madness weekly journey into the world of Black and White. This week, there’s a theme: Culture.

Heck, I’m in Hawaiʻi . . . this should be easy. 

At first, I considered using some of the shots I’ve already published. The Paniolo B&W is a good choice as it covered the Hawaiʻian cowboy culture. 

Heck, I could even co-opt the surfing shots from a few posts ago . . . 

I could even B&W-ify them a bit more . . . 

Easy and quick, but it felt like cheating. This was stuff I’ve already shared. 

I do have a few photos from the Isaacs Art Center Museum and Gallery. I’ve been meaning to do a post — and still will — but meanwhile, I could grab a few of the photos and see how they presented themselves. 

I liked this sketch, but the angle made it unusable.

. . . or, did it? Enter DxO ViewPoint 3 and I was able to “deskew” the photo so that I could use it if I wanted to . . .  

I do like that program.

I also have a photo of an interesting vase made from Norfolk Pine wood . . . 

I have to assume the facial features are intentional . . . and neat. 

This next shot is a composite of three separate photos. This thing is about four feet wide, made of Koa wood, and inspired by the navigation charts used by Polynesian sailors. 

Here are both the color and B&W versions. 

By the way, the B&W conversion is done using the DxO Film Pack, and specifically the Ilford 50 B&W film conversion. 

Again, as much as I like it, I was not sure how recognizable a piece it would be to the average person out there. 

But, I’m in luck. A few weeks ago the Hulieʻe Palace had their fundraiser and I got a few shots of the quintessential Hawaiʻian cultural icon; Hula Dancing

My initial thinking was using this photo:

. . . and changing it to B&W . . . 

I also thought that turning it into a painting and then in B&W would work, but the I didn’t like the B&W of the painting, though I did like the painting.

Eventually, I settled on this version:

If anyone is interested, I also had videos of the various dances. They will be at the end, along with the gallery of all the photos. 

Anyway, I was happy with the choice, but then I looked at other photos. 

I thought this would be nice as a photo, but short on culture:

This next photo had one try at conversion to B&W . . . 

I nixed it right away for them having their back turned. So then, I thought this pose might be good . . . 

. . . and tried a couple of conversions . . . 

. . . and even a few different conversions . . . 

The same with this next shot . . . 

This next shot got a lot of conversions . . . 

Ome of you might be wondering about the color versions . . . well, the submissions are meant to be monochrome and not just B&W so there’s a little latitude with what one can do.

These next three shots each had one conversion (in the gallery below) . . . 

I liked this shot, but I cut off their feet . . . 

Before I get to the photo I picked and my submission, here are the three ladies:

So, what did I go with? I picked this shot . . . 

I tried two B&W conversions . . . 

. . . and even tried an odd monochrome conversion . . . 

But I ultimately settled on this next version as my submission:

By the way, all the shots and movies were taken with the Nikon P900, hand-held. 

Here are the videos — five videos of kids dancing and two of adult dancers. 

Funny story . . . When I first uploaded the videos on YouTube I labeled the videos with the adult dancers as “Hula Dancers – Adult”. . . and quickly realized that title might bring the wrong crowd to the videos. I decided to just number them.

One other note: I normally have YouTube run their stabilization processing on the videos, but this time they not only messed them up but also cut them short. One of the videos that was three minutes long got cut down to fourteen seconds. These are the videos as shot. 

These next two are the adult women dancing. 

The full-size photos are in THIS SmugMug Gallery and the 1280pxls photos are in the gallery below. You can also click on the individual photos above to see a larger version.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Black and White, Photography Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Culture in Black and White

  1. Back in the bad old days when I used to smoke like a chimney; I smoked a brand called “Black & White” a revolting cigarette it was too. That was in the days just after the war and decent tobacco(is that one of those thingamegigs? – oxymoron!) wasn’t available.

    Been many years since I stopped the vile habit!

    I was thinking, you seem to have a lot of time to waste, why don’t you get a proper job?

    Have you ever thought of running the country? Lets face it if someone like …… can do it ; you’d be a shoo-in !


  2. Great submission!

    The photos from the museum/gallery are cool! Especially that vase!

    The 23rd photo down from the top (I think I counted right) with the three dancers (in one of the conversions) is so cool! As is the 2nd one from the bottom up, with the three dancers orange-y. :-)

    I’ve always enjoyed the beauty and story-telling in Hawaiian dancing!

    I enjoyed the videos! Such talented dancers!

    YAY for culture!
    HUGS!!! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, diem3 . . . lots of stuff to choose from.

      There is a lot of neat art — much of it in wood — in that museum. I need to get back there and snap a few more photos because my first visit was rushed a bit.

      I’ve seen videos of dancers with the story shown in (English) subtitles but when I was filming there were no subtitles . . . maybe the machine was broken.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice pictures and videos, Disperser, but please don’t listen to LordBeariOfBow!


  4. Pieter says:

    wonderful post with lots of great shots :) Enjoyed the read and the viewing!


  5. AnnMarie says:

    You chose very well for the LCMM submission, that’s a lovely photo. And your other “people” photos and videos are a beautiful addition to your preferred subjects.


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, Ann. I know it’s unusual to see people photos on this blog. I’m often told I should do more of them but this was a public event, so I could justify shooting the photos.


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