Entries in black & white (74)
I am often teaching 1-on-1 photography lessons in downtown St. Petersburg and have personally photographed almost everything there is around that area. For my students, this is good because I can show them all my favorite spots. For me to make an image of some interest for an oft photographed place, sometimes I need to spice up the image. So for the above shot I went off axis, used a long exposure to blow out the sky, and then finally converted it to black & white using an infrared filter. I also tried to combine nature and archicture in one image. These are all photograpy tips to try for when you are at a place you have photographed a lot before, but still want to try and come away with something new.
Let me know what you do to spice up photos of places you have shot in many times before.
For some reason I got it into my head yesterday afternoon to finally edit this photograph of a yellow Ferrari F430 Spider that I had lingering for almost a year. I have posted other shots of this particular car actually, but this shot I guess I did not like as much. My motivation to edit it now was because I envisioned cutting it out of its original background and placing it on a half black half white digital background as seen in the above image.
Photographs I like to look at make me feel something. They can also make me think of something, either something I see in the photo itself or that gets triggered in my mind from looking at the photo. One does not need to travel far nor wide to make images that can provoke thought and feeling. It does not even need to be a new place. I have been in North Straub Park with my camera hundreds of times over the course of teaching 300+ photography lessons in downtown St. Petersburg, yet I could still make an image of the park that I liked and wanted to share. I recommend going out this weekend and looking more carefully at a place you commonly go and see if you cannot make an image for yourself that makes you think and feel.
I met Eric this afternoon in St. Petersburg Florida to make a few different style of headshots for him to help him promote the publication of his first book! I used my usual strobist setup of two speedlights and brolly & shoot through umbrella light modifiers. I did not intend with the above headshot to have the background be all black, meaning I did not use the fastest shutter speed and try to control light spill as much as possible to create it while shooting. Instead I added it using a black & white conversion filter in Color Efex Pro. Personally, I really like headshots and portraits where the light only reveals some of the subject, making it look like the subject is emerging from the background.
Eric wanted an approximate three-quarters view headshot on a white background. I had my neutral gray collapsible background setup with a white sheet over it. The white sheet does not produce a pure white background, Photoshop editing is still required, but it does make cutting the subject out much easier. For this shot I used more of a backlit setup with the secondary light well behind Eric.
Lately I have been photographing rather large families on Florida's beaches. This time it was a family of four and I was reminded of the benefits of photographing such a small number of people, and also with children not out of control. We were also at my favorite beach, Sunset Beach on Treasure Island. This was an opportunity for me to try new shots and take my time. The shot above was a candid between setup shots of mother and daughter. Converting to black & white had a dramatic effect on the overall look of the photo and it may end up being one of my personal favorites of 2013.
The family requested a jumping shot, one that is not on my normal shot list, so another chance at a new type of shot. It took quite a few tries to get everyone to jump in a semi-coordinated effort and not have faces blocked, etc.
As you can see it was not a clear sunset that evening, but more a dramatic backdrop of clouds backlit by the setting sun. The family liked this background, and for me it provided another differentiating factor for this series of images.
This photo was my idea, earlier on in the shoot. The dad mentioned how he did not mind if he was not in some shots, so I placed him furthest back and using a 50mm lens at f/2 let shallow depth of field create interest in the framing. I do not often get to use my 50mm lens during beach portrait sessions due to lack of time.
This last shot is one I often make of a family walking down the shore using my long lens (Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D). It was a windy day and it kicked up waves making the Gulf of Mexico look more like a proper ocean background.