The world was black and white before colour photographs. . .

… or so some may have thought at one time.  So how does someone who has grown up in technicolor and who stops in their tracks for bright bold color . . .

a splash of color on a rainy day
a splash of color on a rainy day

learn to see in Black & White?

I love B&W photography and there are photographers whose B&W images will stop me just as hard,  both from the past when that was the only option to the present and B&W photography like that by Cole Thompson.  A powerful or even serene black and white image does not need color to draw you in or set the mood.  This is all accomplished using shapes & elements, contrast, composition and, of course, light.   But even though I know of these key points, seeing them, for me, in B&W can be a challenge.

So I’ve recently gone back to the proverbial drawing board… again.  Rewind about five years ago, I took a B&W film photography course (wow, that was five years ago already!) and even then, according to my post at that time, I struggled a bit.  So, I guess it’s not surprising that I quickly gravitate back to all things color.   However, like Jenny here,

one of my first film subjects
one of my first film subjects

who has hung in there, now at 14, so have I…  and every now and then I give it another go… exploring my world in B&W.  white-rose-b&wLearning is in doing…

Til next time,
Maria

 

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52by52 The Self-Portrait Edition

So here it goes…  Not only a self-portrait but a before & after selfie :-0

The before

selfie_bw_beforeLOL, got some camera shake going on (just think this was the best of the bunch). I must’ve been just a wee bit nervous about what I was about to do…

Ready for the big reveal. . .

Ta-da . . . The After!

selfie_bw_afterMade my hair stylist’s day today.  I can go month’s between visits and then just show up and say cut it off.  Now I just need the weather to warm up… it’s a little chilly on the neck.

This is the first installment of
52by52
my own Project 52, of sorts.
To read more about it just click
on the 52by52 in the side bar

Til next time,
Maria

Free & Easy Edition

Back tonight for another Texture Tuesday.  I’m really liking that it’s a free & easy edition this week and that I can combine this month’s photography club’s Photo Quest, which was not quite so free & easy, at least not for me.   The topic non-ambient light… I confess I actually had to look it up.  And I am glad I did, as I had it all wrong.   I thought it was any light that was not natural, a street light, candle light, lamp, etc…  When in fact all of those are ambient light.  Non-ambient light is …artificial light, but light supplied by the photographer, i.e. flash.  Who knew…

I do love a challenge.  They always get me to think outside my box.  I kept coming up with some pretty crazy ideas, but the conditions were never quite right… which my model was extremely grateful for.  Boy, but when I finally told her I wanted red lips and a Downton-esque mood, she was all in!
MegShe even let me “play” while she put on those red lips.
mdreyer_March_PQ03I also found myself another model and had a completely different idea in my head.  Unfortunately, the props I wanted to use just didn’t cooperate the way I had imagined.  But I still like the end result… I call it simple disparity.

mdreyer_March_PQ01Finally, reining things in just a bit.  Actually, this is where I tested my light set up before the model shoot above.  Fruit can be so very patient and forgiving…

mdreyer_March_PQ02

Loving the new KK Cloth & Paper Collection – three pears…three different textures combined from the set …. XOXO!!!

For more on ambient/non-ambient light check this out http://www.photography.com/articles/color-light/ambient-light/

That’s all for tonight … {yawn}… time to link up.

 

 

Focus

I have a Photoshop tutorial to share with you … well, the link anyway.  So, how many times have you scanned through your photos and thought to yourself  “If only.”    Besides the usual:  if only I focused on this than or that, if only I shot at a higher speed, used a different lens, stood here, did this, did that. . .  or how about if only there was just one more element in the photo. . . to give it that little extra pop!  I have just such a photo.

When I looked at the original photo, my first thought was “Darn, I should have written on the glass or left my hand print (like in Titanic).  . .  “If only.”     So I attempted a re-do this a.m.  I had the same conditions:  a gray, foggy, and misty morning … no problem, right?  Wrong . . . the glass was almost dry.  It just did not look like it did yesterday (and me without a water bottle to spritz the glass.)

But I wasn’t ready to give up, so I decided to turn to Photoshop.   After a couple futile attempts on my own, I went in search of a how-to.   The trick here was coming up with the right combination of words in Google to get the result I wanted:  Photoshop, Photoshop hands on glass, misty glass, nope, nope, nope, and then finally. . . bingo! . .  Photoshop writing on window (but, of course, that’s what I was trying to do).     I had the photo, now I had the tutorial, now all I needed was the word. . . and I thought that would be the easy part. .  .

Here’s my before and after and a link for the tutorial. . . and another photo saved from the trash bin.

focus_orig  BEFORE

focus AFTER

So what do you think?  Yes, I am really putting the question out there.  Thoughts?  Critique welcome, but please be helpful not hurtful . . . this was, remember, my first attempt.

TUTORIAL:  http://www.photoshop-lessons.com/effects/writing-on-the-window

Memory Lane

20111127-200946.jpg

It’s always fun coming across old photos. I’m guessing I was 3 or 4 here. A true California girl I am, which I am guessing is where these were taken. I recently came across a lot of old photos that my dad took and developed and my mom tucked away. I like to think they were her special memories.

20111127-211404.jpg me and my mom