Guest Post – Alena Shminke

Alena, Black And White Photography, Photography

It’s my pleasure to introduce our newest guest contributor, the talented Alena Shminke.

Am I ready to see a beauty?

My name is Alena Shminke. I was born and lived most of my life in Russia, but over the last two years, I have moved to Estonia. Frankly speaking, I’m a newcomer to photography, and I can’t say I was always interested in photography. I graduated from medical university and worked as a clinical psychologist for several years. Although medicine is a far stretch from art I was always interested and tried my hand in different art forms.

When I moved to Tallinn I had a lot of free time and since I couldn’t find a job I started to think about getting an education in the field of art. I chose photography because creating visual images is the most interesting to me and I have a lot of ideas I wish to embody. I really enjoy analog photography. I like to shoot on film, to develop films and to make prints in a darkroom.

Because of my interest in film photography, a vital part of my work is monochrome.
Possibly the most typical genre for me is fine-art and the most of the images you can see on my blog are still life’s and emotional (self) portraits.The personal part of photography for me is the more I shoot the more I feel that photography is something stronger than me. It makes me stand up and act even when I feel broken.


You can see more of my work on my blog – here


Guest Post – Cheryl Atkins

Black And White Photography, Cheryl, Photography

It’s my pleasure to introduce our newest guest contributor Cheryl Atkins. I have been following her work for a while now I think she will be a perfect fit for the Monochromia team. I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do.

The Contact

I took this shot in the Old City of St Augustine in January, 2016. Armed with my Fuji X-T2 with the 23mm f/2 attached I set out to get as close as I could to my subjects. I chose different locations and stood on corners or sat on benches while waiting for the shots I wanted. St. George Street was very busy with tourists and locals a lunchtime. I spotted this window and pointed my lens at the young woman there. I hoped she would look up and give me the eye contact I wanted. After about five minutes she did.

Fuji x-t2 and  23mm f/2 – 1/800 @ f/5.6 – ISO 1600
My name is Cheryl Atkins and I am a street photographer who lives in Baltimore, Maryland in the US. I attended art school for awhile after graduating from high school. There I had my first encounter with a camera and shot and developed film as part of the curriculum in my lead up to becoming a painting major. My parents “encouraged” me to leave art school and go to a college that would provide me with a degree with which I could get a job. So, I left art school and traveled for a year in an old Volvo with two cats and a ne’er do well boyfriend. After several years of working I went back to school and got my degree in Mass Communications. I didn’t use it. I missed the creative outlet of painting and photography. Fast forward another decade or so and I began to enjoy the process of designing the renovations my husband and I did in our real estate business. Then I bought a Kodak EasyShare for a trip we were taking to Canada. That did the trick and I have been shooting ever since. I quickly graduated to the Canon system with a Rebel xsi and moved through to full frame not too long after that. I still have my Canon gear but switched to Fuji for its smaller size and unobtrusiveness. I got into shooting street about twelve years ago. For the first five years I shot exclusively from a moving car driven by my husband because of the crime in my city. Once in awhile if I  find myself getting repetitive I will take a break from shooting street for a week but I always go back. I am constantly amazed at how different the same area of a town can be on different days or even at different hours on the same day; the change of weather, the available light and the people there. I love it and never tire of it.I would like to thank Joe for offering this wonderful opportunity to me. I hope all of you will enjoy my work.You can follow me on Instagram – here
Or on Flickr – here




Kazan Cathedral

Black And White Photography, Photography

Canon 80D, 18-55mm lens
f4.0; ISO 800; 1/3200sec

In July, my family and I spent a few days in St. Petersburg, Russia.  This is the Kazan Cathedral, a functional Russian Orthodox Church styled after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. I tried to go for a unique angle and was lucky enough to catch a plane in the background; an interesting juxtaposition of historical architecture and modern technology!

Spiralling down…

Black And White Photography, Photography, Sherry

spiral bandw

It was worth every one of the 207 steps up this tower to see this beautiful spiral from above. This was taken from the top of the Santa Catalina tower in Valencia, Spain.


Guest Post – Stacy Fischer

Black And White Photography, Photography

This is the third post in our Guest Post series featuring Stacy Fischer. Although Stacy is quick to point out “I am a photography newbie” her images certainly don’t reflect that. I guess thats what is so great about photography. Whether you are a professional, amateur or newbie, a great image cannot tell the difference.


My name is Stacy Fischer and I was born in Huntington, New York (shout out to Joe!). My family moved from Long Island when I was about three years old, and I have spent the last 19 years living in McLean, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.

Joe’s invitation to guest post on Monochromia took me totally by surprise. In fact, I asked him if he didn’t want to rethink his offer!

You see, I am a photography newbie. That’s not to say I haven’t had my Nikon D90 for years – about five years at this point — but until recently I used it on family vacations or at family events, shot only in automatic (I just couldn’t wrap my head around F-stops!), and knew nothing about composition.

That all changed in February with my foray into photoblogging. Visual Venturing, “Because everyone likes pictures,” grew out of my passion for visual design, but I never imagined what I would find: a wonderful, welcoming, supportive, incredibly talented community, a community I absolutely credit with my growth as a photographer. From studying your amazing photos, following your links, asking all kinds of questions, and receiving invaluable feedback, you have inspired me to learn everything I can about this wonderful art form.

My appreciation for black and white photography comes from participating in Leanne Cole’s and Laura Macky’s Monochrome Madness Challenge ( Learning to see the contrasts, shadows, and light that translate effectively into black and white photos has provided me with countless “aha” moments that have better informed my photography in general. And much to my surprise, I have come to truly enjoy the purity of black and white images. Also to my surprise, the two most liked photos on my blog are in black and white, though I chuckle that the most liked one is of nothing more than a wire attached to a tree stake, shot while I was experimenting with creating a shallow depth of field (see, I AM learning photographic principles!).

Monochromia is a wonderful forum in which to explore and to share this wonderful genre of black and white photography. Kudos, Joe, for creating this blog and many thanks for standing by your invitation. I am honored to share my story.