Portraits – B&W

Black and White portraits are often the most intriguing. This however will make greater demands on composition.

Black and White photos have greater potential for contrast and with this potential, the composition can in monochrome print allow the viewer to see the colors and hues which they fancy. Several photographers I know have black and white photos I have seen and when some time later we talked about them, I described them in color. They looked at me confused and verified that we were talking about the same photo by discussing the features of the photo’s subject and elements. Seeing a black and white photo in color is not a gauge on whether the photo is properly composed, but something which viewers may experience where exposure and composition are well done.

One of my favorite fall shots is from above the subject as they are seated on a thick grassy lawn, looking up toward the camera which uses the grass and fall colored leaves as a background!

However, since we are on the topic of black and white photos, how can we capture this same stunning color composition in black and white?

First, it is important to have the best clarity possible and this is achieved with a high-end lens. If you are using a consumer level camera which cannot alternate lenses, do not worry, it should do well for you.

Second, work diligently to make sure the focus is absolutely set on the eyes. If there is one thing that must be in total focus it must be the eyes.

Third, some editing may be done to a black and white photo to add color. \"Bird-Owl This photo illustration is a perfect example; digitally signed by Chris D. Jones, this photo draws from the contrast of the black and white giving definition to the feathers, the clarity is displayed in the eye and draws your attention with the iris color.

Enjoy!

Personality

Have you ever been around people who always make you feel welcome and valuable? They just seem to exude an appreciation for your company, a genuine interest in your thoughts and statements.

Some people would call them a “Type A” personality.

There are times that I see the personality of the subject perfectly captured in a photo. I take a long, hard look at those pictures while asking myself questions similar to the following:

  1. What element say “personality” to me?
  2. Why do these elements communicate “personality” to me?
  3. How can I re-create the element?
  4. How can I distinguish between elements and the personalities they portray?
  5. What color tones were used?
  6. How do the color tones in this photo add to the subject’s personality?
  7. What clothing colors bring out subject personality?

As you can see there are a lot of things that can add to or take away from personality. In the blog post “Simplifying The Message” I mention that it is important to keep the message uncluttered and intentional. It is possible the only thing that shouts “personality” is the pose they assume as the shutter opens. Sometimes the simplest things are what makes the shot rather than the complicated set-up or costuming.

There are a lot of options at your disposal when displaying personality and be free to explore them!

Color Obsession

I take so many things for granted. Then when is lost something I frequently use, I pretend to myself that everything has ended!

I believe that creativity comes from looking at our surroundings with a different view while still maintaining those tangible means to define the different perspective.

Take for instance, vision or sight; “the ability to see.” What would change had I not the ability to distinguish color because of monochrome sight? Photographers call this a style of art, formed in “Black and White”.

Perhaps you have previously seen “Black and White” images, never noticing before that they were “colorless”. I continue to be amazed how our brains will add color to something with which we are familiar when there is not any such information being given by our eyes!

This actually is another option in our discussion of “creativity rejuvenation”.

There are a great number of things that are typically one color. For instance in the United Kingdom police cars are, in majority, colored with blue and yellow squares. Fire engines in the United States of America are almost always red. Quite often universally, taxi cabs are yellow.

Shoot your favorite color until your creativity is once again filled and be amazed at what you find in the process!