We are definitely spoiled by color and sometimes, we forget the great images that can be had in black and white. Normally when I desire black and white images, I still shoot in color and then convert to black & white. Sometimes it works and sometimes, not so much.
Today I decided it was time I got back to the basics and shoot only in black & white. Eliminating color right from the get-go gives a completely different perspective. No longer can you rely on color to tell your story. Form and composition, along with highlight and shadow, are the main tools at your disposal.
“Garbo” (Lanceleaf Coreopsis “Baby Sun”) Old Hollywood Glamour Series, Nikon D300, 105mm macro, F/6.3, 1/200s, -0.7EV, ISO 640
Coreopsis ‘Baby Sun’ worked well for today’s exercise as it has strong areas of color and contrast. It is also quite simplistic. Using a relatively shallow depth of field and focussing on the center tuft allowed the petals to blur nicely.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
Today was the day, the very last day to get a nice shot of my ‘Judith’ Daylily. After today, there would be no more blooms until next year. Over the past week, I’ve photographed the flowers up close, far away, individually, as a group, etc. and nothing has worked. Soooo, this was it. No pressure, right?
To add to the difficulty, dark clouds were looming and rain was imminent! I decided to do the best I could and let fate decide the outcome.
“Judy” (Hemerocallis ‘Judith’ Daylily, Old Hollywood Glamour Series), Nikon D300, 550mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/20, 1/40s, ISO 640
I bought this particular daylily many years ago in honor of my mother-in-law, Judy, who was taken away from us much too soon. Just like the blossom that bears her name, she was also larger than life, with rosy-pink cheeks and eyes that would twinkle when she smiled. She welcomed me to the family with open arms and engulfed me in warm hugs. Those are what I miss most.
Admittedly, I wasn’t much of anything (wife, homemaker, gardener, cook, etc.) when she was here with us. I’ve certainly come a long way since then and her influences weave in and out of my life. When I look at these flowers, I see her and hope that she is proud of the daughter-in-law I’ve become.
“Gilda”(Red Daylily), Old Hollywood Glamour Series, Nikon D300, 460mm (200-400mm w/1.4x teleconverter), F/18, 1/30s, -1.0EV, ISO 1600
The red daylilies have ‘popped’ and how fortunate for me to catch this one in all its stunning glory! I’d been looking for a red flower for the ‘Old Hollywood Glamour’ series and I don’t think I’ll find one better than this.
The fiery red color made me immediatly think of Rita Hayworth - an American film actress and dancer who attained fame during the 1940s not only as one of the era’s top stars, but also as the era’s greatest sex symbol. Ironically, in her personal life, Rita was naturally shy and reclusive – the antithesis of the characters she played.
Therefore, it seemed a more fitting tribute to name this image after her most notable role.
When I can’t find inspiration in my own landscape, all I have to do is step next door! My neighbor Nancy has a wonderful garden and, in addition to being a dear, dear friend, over the years she has provided a wealth of gardening tips and how-to’s. Thanks, Nancy!
Although situated right next to each other, our gardens can sometimes seem worlds apart (her landscape receives so many more hours of sun and therefore, tends to be a bit ahead). For example, both our gardens contain ‘Endless Summer’, a variety of Mophead Hydrangea, but, while mine are still in the beginning bud stage, hers are already putting forth their sumptuous blooms.
“Harlow” (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’), Old Hollywood Glamour Series, Nikon D300, 70mm, F/2.8, 1/1600s, -0.3EV, ISO 200, SB800 w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.7EV
There is something so timeless about hydrangea blossoms and one in particular just knocked me out! I adore the sweetheart shape painted in delicate hues of cream and blue with the slightest touch of purple.
Just screams to be part of the Old Hollywood Glamour series, doesn’t it?