Black and white photos are more than clicking a button on the computer take away color. If you make a photo with the intention of it being black and white (like the old film masters had to do), you pay attention to light, shadows, textures, etc. You then heighten that with special post-production editing. The result will hopefully tell the story that the photographer originally intended.
If you've been taking your children to the playground for 8 years like I have, you might find yourself getting bored with your photos. There are only so many shots you need of your kid coming down the slide.
So, what is to be done? Stop taking photos? Stop going to the playground?
I found myself here recently. I had even rented a 70-200 lens for a family shoot the following day and wanted to test it out with my own kids. However, once we got to the park, I was bored with all the shots I was making. Other photographers can make art with any lens and here I was with a beautiful lens creating boring snapshots. So, I took a step back.
I blinked and looked with new eyes at the playground. Suddenly, I saw lines, geometric shapes, interesting shadows and compelling stories.
Sometimes all we need to do to break out of the photography rut is to just decide to see in a new way. So, next time you're bored with your park photography, try these steps:
- Close your eyes. Open them when you're ready to see in a new way.
- Take your camera out of your normal settings. Get out of your comfort zone.
- Experiment with new angles or slower shutter speeds
- When you get home, try editing them in a different style
Are you ever at a loss as to what to do after dinner and before bedtime? It seems that my kids need to run around and burn off still more energy every evening. So, instead of having them wrestle on the living room floor we headed to a local playground.
This little 4 year old can almost always keep up with his big siblings. He's fast and scrappy.
However, sometimes that isn't enough. Sometimes, your legs just need to keep growing.
Helmets are helpful even off the scooter. They even keep you safe running on the blacktop.
Recently I had a few hours alone with my youngest boy. I like these moments with just one kid. The bickering and sibling fighting is gone and I get to really see that child's personality. They also seem to behave better, for some reason. My boy gladly let me take a few photos of him after he ran through the sprinklers.
For my final week of Black and White photography, I thought I'd play around a bit more with the shadows on his face. I like the grittiness it gives to my sweet happy baby. :)
My light study continues into March with a focus on Black and White. It is really fun to photograph for black and white. I get to pay close attention to how the light is helping tell the story of my photo and how the different color tones present either help or hinder as well. So, welcome to a new theme in my year of light study.
At last, my last week on directional light. It's easy to get stuck in a rut of using window light (side light generally) so I wanted to challenge myself a bit. I spent the whole week looking for top light (noon pics, anyone?), bottom light (totally unflattering on people) and finally found something fun. Here are two different types of light. First is top light - sunny day at noon at the park. You can see the lack of shadows on his face and the darker shadow underneath him. He happened to also be sitting in shade so he didn't need to squint too much to look up.
If I were to choose my preferred light, I definitely don't prefer shooting at high noon. The contrast is usually too strong for my preferred type of "happy child shots" and the top light from the sun usually means that people's eyes are in the shadows or that they're squinting from the sun.
Second is my more "artsy" submission. This is side light from a window way across the room. I like how it only highlights his chubby baby cheeks.
We've got some more directional light this week, also from a window. This time, however, I closed all the windows in this room and only slightly cracked open one to the front-left of my boy (left of the bed in the pictures). The fun thing about window light is the strong fall-off. The light really close to the window is very strong but it gets dark very quickly. This is called the Inverse Square Law for those photography theory nerds. :) It works really well to isolate the subject in a busy setting (like a cluttered bedroom). While he's nice and bright, all the clutter behind him is in the shadows (and out of focus).