This was the gauntlet I threw down to you last month: Not everything in life is black and white. Tho' I am rather hoping you'll join me in May's themed collection and show me monochrome images (not just colour snaps converted to B&W*) in your neck of the woods. Magpies, zebras, magpies on zebras; you get the gist.
And get the gist you did.
First up was Rol: 'Another old photo, I'm afraid. One of my dad's cows. Bearing in mind he gave up farming about 15 years ago, this must be older than that...and the cow will be long gone. A lot of people would be wary of getting so close to a cow, but I grew up around them so would happily go and tap her on the nose to get her to pose for this picture. Most of my dad's cows didn't have names, except for Dinah, who was a legend. This isn't Dinah though, so he probably called her "that white faced one". She didn't seem to mind.'
C from Sun Dried Sparrows was next - 'Hi John, here's my photo. No explanation necessary, except to say I couldn't find a magpie on a zebra, sadly. C x.' Thank you, C; as I said to you, I've got several Dickys that wouldn't look out of place on that rail.
Adam's played a blinder this month - These are three dazzle ship inspired patterns (to my eyes) and I do like the dazzle ship pattern, in the incongruous surroundings of the new 5-a-side football centre near the Trafford Centre.
The lovely Alyson never disappoints - 'Here's my picture. It's a signal box at the swing bridge where the railway line crosses the Caledonian Canal at Clachnaharry. Quite a feat to get the line to then marry up I would have thought (think of your Scalextric track) but has been running for well over a century now, so it's done well.'
Next up is a good friend of mine, Whitty. I met Whitty, a Liverpudlian, in Totnes last year at an Ian Prowse gig and have stayed in contact with him ever since. Whitty has lived down in the South West for more years than he cares to remember but is still proud of his home city and football club & often writes for Red All Over the Land.
His text to me last week simply read - 'She's called Roly Poly. Debs named her.' Thank you, Whitty and see you soon, hopefully.
Charity Chic, ever succinct, dropped me a line - 'A rainy day in Glasgow and a Mini with Aspirations.'
When I came up with this month's photo teaser I had absolutely no idea where I'd go with it. In the end I narrowed it down to the following trio. A gable end painted white with the sun picking out a solitary airbrick. And a rather tasty VW van parked under a solitary streetlamp.
My friend Riggsby has really gone to town this month. I'm sure he won't mind me sharing the email he sent to me over the weekend: 'The black and white theme has resonated with me because I am drawn to black and white things, particularly my bass guitars. I bought black instruments for years, but I've been buying white more recently. Your theme has made me more observant and also I've realised how many things I think of as black and white that aren't quite. I'm sending some of the images I captured and am looking forward to seeing the other entries.
Richard then proceeded to send me dozens of photos (guitars, food, bikes) so, with his permission, I'm only going to show one or two today. However, later in the month I'm going to reproduce the remainder - including the literal B&W images* he sent me. His bass guitars really are something, so here are a couple including my favourite Rickenbacker.
* The Swede has produced a beautiful photo this month despite falling into the literal black and white photo trap. But that's OK. 'Looking back up the lane I was struck by the signs and the trees and the shadows they cast across the tarmac. That'd look good in black and white I thought.' Indeed it does; thank you, TS.
And finally, a huge welcome to Khayem who I know has been reading my blog for a while now and this month has produced something of a masterpiece. Although he's 'done a Swede' he's managed to come up with something I can only describe as other worldly. Here's K in his own words - 'Hello John. This is my offering for your May photo blog post. A very grainy amateurish effort taken on my phone - no filters, no cropping. Reminded me somehow of the grainy photocopied images that adorned DIY single sleeves in the late 70s/early 80s.'
Once again, thank you so much to everyone who sent me pictures this month. I really appreciate you all playing along with me. J x
P.S. 11 May 2023
I'm mixing it up for June's photo challenge. Literally. I'm looking for mosaic patterns, patchworks, montages, tessellations...you get the picture(s). So if you've just glued your priceless Ming vase back together again or you see somebody wearing Elmer the Elephant socks. Or you can paint in the Mondrian style - you know what to do. Snaps by 1st June please.