Walt Disney World Swan in Black and White

The Walt Disney World Swan hotel in black and white

The Walt Disney World Swan hotel is seen across the water in this view from our July 2022 Florida trip.

During our trip, we took an afternoon to visit the Epcot Resorts, as we often do. As you might notice from this photo, some clouds came up, and they were rather serious-looking clouds, too. As you might guess, those clouds did bring us some rain, too. We did not get too wet, so it was all good. What would Florida be without a bit of liquid sunshine, after all?

I have hesitated posting this photo for quite a while (since soon after July, obviously). Not because I don’t like the photo, however. Rather, I have held off posting it because I have shared similar photos before. Each time we walk around the lake, I think this is a nice view, so I take a photo. And they all end up looking somewhat similar. But I decided to post this one anyway. Read more about it in the “About the Photo” section below.

Throw Off Your Balance

You probably guessed from the above that sometimes we like to do the same things as before. Sometimes, we go the same places as before. We even sometimes do the same things that we have done before. That is because the same is familiar.

In general, people like the familiar. We (as a people) feel comfort in seeing the same things and doing the same things that we have done before. We like to have that familiar, comfortable feeling. Apparently that goes for photography, too, judging by the number of similar photos I have taken over the years.

But we are also on the lookout for new things to do, too. That shows in some of our Kansas trips of the past year, and also our recent spring break walk, too.

As in so many areas, balance is ideal. It is good to have a balance between things that are comfortable and things that push you a bit out of your comfort zone, too. If you stay comfortable all your life, then you won’t grow any. The best way to grow is to throw yourself off-balance a bit and see what happens. To walk, you actually have to throw yourself off balance and then catch yourself with your leg. If you stay balanced, you will never get anywhere.

Throw yourself off balance from time to time. It can have some good results.

For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth. - Ecclesiastes 3:1

About the Photo

As I mentioned above, I have shared photos like this one before. But when I was looking back through our trip photos, this one kept attracting my attention, so I figured it was worth sharing. The more I looked for it, the more I decided that it might look good in black and white, too. So I started down that road.

I first loaded the photo into Raw Therapee. I actually increased the color saturation and contrast a bit first. And then I converted that higher contrast version to black and white. It took a few tries to get it like I wanted it to look, but overall I was pretty satisfied with it.

However, I was not entirely satisfied. So I loaded the photo into GIMP. I played around with the contrast just a little more. And then I added a sepia overlay at the end. I always find that I like a sepia look better, because straight black and white is just a little too blue for me. And with that, I was done, and that is what you see here.

By the way, Raw Therapee and GIMP are both open source programs, which means that they are free to use. So you might want to give them a try sometime. And don’t forget to shoot in Raw mode, too.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in GIMP and Raw Therapee.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: July 20, 2022
Location: Epcot Resorts, Walt Disney World, Florida


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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.