Saturday, April 2, 2011

Look A Cow!

Okay, so there's no cow - only super cheesy jokes. What can I say? I'm tired and not feeling very well.  But enough with my moroseness - on with the post!

After reviewing my portfolio, I've realized that I don't have many black & white photos that I'm super fond of, which is surprising since I love playing with that feature.  It's drawn my attention to the fact that I need to do more. More!  MOOOOORRRRRE!! *ahem*  Most of my black & white work has been done with photo shoot pictures, none of which I'm including here.  I think it's time to break out some other pieces.

Waiting for the Trolley in Downtown Monterrey
California 2008
Voila!  This is one of my favorites.  This is a picture of my youngest brother, who is typically quite reluctant to have his picture taken.  We had found a large daisy on the sidewalk and picked it up.  I liked the beaming sunlight and asked my brother to hold the flower in the light so that I could get a picture.  I don't think he was sure what I meant, because this pose is what resulted. Needless to say, it's much better than any alternative.

While this is a fairly nice photograph in color, I think it is particularly well-suited to black & white.  The contrast between the dark of his clothing, the dark gray of his shirt and hair, the light gray of the wall, and the startling whiteness of the flower comes together nicely.

I'm also particularly fond of the fact that in any other photo, the wall would count as the "white," but in this one the brilliancy of the flower adds another shade and a great focal point.

Moving right along, we have another photo from that trip to California.  This features my cousin's booted feet and the hoof of her mount for the day.  My favorite aspect of this photo is easily the composition: I love the pairing of the different feet and the cross of the boards.

Here, the whites and grays of the barn floorboards and the strewn hay enhance the texture of the photograph while also imparting a certain rustic, barn-like feel.  Meanwhile, the really eyecatching feature is the stark blacks of the horse's and my cousin's legs.  The hoof and the boots also match in shade, and effect that creates a sense of unity between the two very different appendages.

The black and white adds a sense of rusticity not present in the original color photo.  By removing all color saturation, I was able to create a photograph that speaks to the mood and situation of the time it was taken.

Yep, that's a self-portrait, folks.  Enjoy it, because for someone so photo-obsessed, I'm remarkably camera shy. Like, I think, most photographers, I've played with the self-portrait.  Fyi, I think the whole self-portrait as art debate is stooopid. A bad, poorly taken picture is still awful, just like a superbly taken photo can be amazing and artful.  Does the subject change really matter?

Anyway, I think this is just an overall fun black and white.  Especially if you see the original color photo which is filled with a yellow cast and features some shockingly red lips.  Being in black & white completely changes the emphasis and focal points of the photo.  The lips have become washed out and blend mostly with my skin.  Similarly everything that once was golden and glowing has become white and pale gray.  Now the emphasis rests in the sheen of the hair, which is highlighted by the contrast between black and white.  And, of course, the eyes, which become the darkest feature of the photo.

But enough with all this black and white.  I think mayhap our next post might involve the reverse, featuring super saturation.  Jen, what think ye?

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