It’s a black and white world sometimes

We had a full and busy weekend, like, I imagine, most of you. The kids are on a two week spring break, which has both its ups and downs. I’m sure they would be more thrilled if we were going somewhere exciting, but we’re not, so they’re not as thrilled as, say, their friends who are off to Maui or the like. Such is life for a kid.

I’ve spent most of my spare time this weekend obsessing over black and white photography. I don’t know why but I’ve always loved it. I think it’s just so much more evocative. Anyway, I decided to plumb the depths of my husband’s photography library and quickly found I was way in over my head, so I found some books more along the lines of “black and white pictures for dummies”, which was still over my head but not as deep.

And then I spent most of Sunday afternoon messing around with his raw files from Africa, which, once he discovers this, will probably upset him, though I think- but I don’t know because it was all over my head- that the originals are still in there somewhere.

But my point is, instead of writing to you all about the dangers of Easter lilies or sharing more memes telling you to encourage your friends to get chocolate rabbits, not real ones, I was doing this. I’ll get to the rest of it this week. But in the meantime, because it is what I have, here is my attempt at dramatic Africa pictures. 



Mom and Me: Mother chimpanzees are fiercely protective of their babies, who remain with them the first several years of life.


Welcome, clouds: The Ngorongoro Crater the day after the first rain marking the end of the dry season.


See no evil: Zebras are skittish herd animals who rely on their sense of sight, and their comrades, to watch out for predators.

Plain as can be: The Ngonogoro Crater is home to Tanzania's most densely packed wildlife population, due to its relative seclusion in the crater of an ancient volcano.


Just lion around: A male lion surveys the plain. Prey is plentiful in the Ngorongoro Crater.


Little Serengeti: Tarangire is only Tanzania's fifth largest park, yet it's clear to see why this portion is considered the younger sibling of the famous 'endless plains.'


Sturdy: No one messes with a herd of elephants. Tarangire is renowned for its vast elephant herds.


Watering hole: The mud plains are a popular gathering spot for birds, zebras, and playful elephants looking for a cooldown.


Baby on board: Elephants instinctively herd the young to the middle of the herd, where they are safest from predators. If the adults see or smell a lion, they will stampede and chase them off.


Mud stockings: Zebras enjoy a little wallow in the mud to get a break from the mid-day sun.


Hello: a lithe and graceful juvenile giraffe surveys the interlopers from a safe distance.

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  • Deborah Mendez

    Wow! Simply breathtaking! Thank you for taking us with you — or at least imagining that we were right there!

  • Vonny

    I agree with you on black and white photos. Maybe colour is distracting, especially in this setting?

    • I think it really is. Without the color, your eye goes straight to the detail of the subject.

  • Anonymous

    I agree on the black & white photography. Wonderful pictures! The first picture of the zebras is my favorite.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. V, I’m so glad you did this instead! We can read about Easter lilies and bunnies as real pets in other places for now. Sometimes letting your creative mind have a little freedom is as healthy for you as good physical exercise and a balanced diet, especially when you are irresistably drawn to the creative effort. I’ve seen other black and whites of Africa, and the continent never ceases to amaze me in this way–I always think of it as a land of color because we are so accustomed to it, but the light and shadow, pattern and detail work perfectly in black and white. These are absolutely stunning.

  • Lisa W

    These are AWESOME!!!

  • Cathey

    Beautiful! You’re right about the black & white photos. For me, it’s almost better than color – something about the color gets in the way of the detail, sometimes. And there is the nostalgia part, it’s another place and another time, even now I imagine. Thanks so much for sharing. And never fear, your husband is techy enough I know the originals are there – SOMEWHERE!!

  • Tamara

    Stunning! I have always loved B&W photography. I think it’s the shades of grey that show the relationship between things that really gets me. The shots of the sky with clouds seem to really highlight ‘relationship’ to me. Nice work and thank you 🙂

  • JaneK

    you go girl! those are awesome!! thanks for sharing so I, too, can go on a safari (a picture one anyway 🙂 )

  • You should be rewarded for this. Really adventurous I enjoyed it.

  • These pictures are simply breathtaking! They must have taken so much work. I was really thrilled to have a peak into Africa. Thanks!

  • amber.b

    those pictures are amazing!