Posts tagged “Flowers

Tulips (Three Photographs)

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How to stand out in a crowd… In my last tulip post I spoke of some techniques to focus the viewer on the subject. Another technique I did not mention was depth of field; logically, what is in focus is what matters. The challenge in a field of flowers where you cannot move things around and stage-manage is that when using a very narrow depth of field to isolate your subject some of what you don’t want will still be in focus.

 


Tulips (Three Photographs)

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These are more tulips from the Ottawa Tulip Festival. This time I was focusing on framing and negative space. The idea is to make sure your viewers’ eyes go where you want them to go. Tools include, vignette, increasing shadows generally, framing in camera and tightened cropping after the fact without necessarily placing the subject in the middle of the frame.


One Flower, Three Flavors (Three Photographs)

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I visited the Ottawa Tulip Festival on its opening day, as it was mid day there were not many people about, so I did not have the opportunity for the candid shots I wanted to take. I did come away with some flower shots I could play with. The black and white version is a bit funereal but it was worth the effort and might be useful someday as an illustration. As for the color versions simplicity was my goal.


Two for One (Two Photographs)

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Building on my last comments on B&W, when a photograph works in color, it often may work in B&W, leaving the choice as to which is preferable to you or your audience. It is also an interesting way to learn about photography – what has impact, where you want to go with color or B&W. In this case my trial conversion convinced me to take a high key approach in the color. Having done that it encouraged to me go with an even higher key lighting in B&W. When they say great photographs are made not taken I believe this kind of outcome is what they had in mind.


The Black and White Admonition (Two Photographs)

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One thing I have heard over and over is that if a photograph does not work in color it is not likely to work in B&W. Like all rules and admonitions in photography there are exceptions to the rule. I have included the color version to make this point. The B&W on the other hand has a quality to it that could never be achieved in color. It’s a personal choice but I think the B&W works.


Why Color is Important in Black and White (Eight Photos)

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In the days of film when taking B&W photos you often added a color filter to your lens to change the tonal range of the photo. Today we can use software filters.. For example, a Red filter lets red through, blocks blue and creates a lot of contrast which is why it helps make great skies. The other filters most commonly used are Orange, Yellow, Green and Blue. These colors change the gradations of B&W and the range of tonality and contrast. They can also make modest differences to the shadows and highlights in the photo. The eight photos posted here are the same photograph processed in color and B&W: the original color version, my final B&W product, the B&W with no color filter and then in succession, photos using the color filters (red, orange, yellow, green and blue) in that order (subtle changes). For the final B&W I chose to use the Green filter as it opened up the tonal range. In many of my B&Ws I make adjustments to the filter itself, just to get it the way I want it. Now with my Fuji XT-2, I can take photos in B&W and apply those filters when shooting as opposed to in post processing. If you shoot RAW, as opposed to JPEG, in most processing software you easily turn the photo back to color. A great way to learn black and white is to shoot in raw, set your camera to B&W and when you get back to your computer decide whether the shot should have been color or B&W.


Contrast (Two Photographs)

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The concept of things standing out in juxtaposition to one another is the definition of contrast, and in photography, whether knowingly or not we all look for contrast. In extreme cases the subject is silhouetted against a background or almost camouflaged. Taking advantage of natural contrast is one of the tools nature photographers use in all sorts of circumstances. In a choice between B&W and color, contrast is almost always the determining element. Without adequate contrast, B&W is much less impressive than color.