The Creative Power of Mono - A Presentation by Simon Watkinson

Simon Watkinson
Simon Watkinson
Mid-Cheshire Camera Club is pleased to welcome the return of Professional Photographer Simon Watkinson. During this visit Simon was presenting “The Creative Power of Mono”. This presentation has been carefully placed into the Clubs programme by our Syllabus Secretary – Ray Hill, with a view of giving members some last-minute insight in the world of mono prior to our Open 2 competition in November. This competition, you may recall is dedicated to mono submissions.

Unfortunately, our chairperson Veronica Nicholas could be with us tonight to introduce our guest so Ray Hill graciously brought the large gathering of MCCC, Crewe and Frodsham members to order.
Simon provided a photographic introduction that properly introduced him, his work and his style. Once we were all reacquainted with his fantastic portfolio, he started to tell us about mono, introducing us to his take on the subject.

Simon was keen to point out a number of points that he believes epitomises mono photography. Knowing and considering these fundamentals when going out to take black and white images will start to allow you as a photographer to think in black and white.

  1. Colour is no longer a distraction
  2. With mono images, you see light differently
  3. Mono has a timeless classic quality
  4. Mono images amplify the use of negative space
  5. They highlight shape, form and pattern
  6. They highlight beauty and skin tones
  7. They help to focus the composition

Lightroom CC B&W Panel
Lightroom CC B&W Panel
Simon is an excellent orator getting his point across in a simple and calm way using images from his own portfolio to emphasise each critical point.

After tea and biscuits, Simon set about the second part of his presentation, which was a live demonstration of how he post produces colour images into mono. His software of choice is Lightroom. Using a one-click option to drain all colour for his image he manipulates the tones using the HSL Panel, which when working on mono image affects the tones of the image.

Simon showed the audience a number of other shortcuts and tricks that he uses as part of his workflow. He encouraged the audience to ask questions and was able to evidence his answers with images from his portfolio.

All in all, this was a wonderful presentation full of good quality advice, which was backed up by some fantastic images. We wish Simon well in his ventures and hope to see him back again at Mid-Cheshire Camera Club.

For more information about the Mid-Cheshire Camera Club visit our website at or come along to a meeting on Wednesday evening at 7.45 for 8pm at the Dingle Recreation Centre, Winsford.